Hasina gives up role as BCL guardian | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 05, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 05, 2009

Hasina gives up role as BCL guardian

Orders sternest action against extortion, tender manipulation, criminal activities


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Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina will no more be the organisational chief of her party's student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), which recently got involved in internal clashes at several educational institutions.
The AL Presidium took this decision at an emergency meeting at Hasina's political office in Dhanmondi yesterday evening.
From the meeting, Hasina directed law enforcement agencies to take stern action against those involved in criminal activities, extortion and tender manipulation, no matter what organisation they belong to, AL spokesperson Syed Ashraful Islam told newsmen after the two-hour meeting.
Ashraf, also LGRD and cooperatives minister, said, "She [Hasina] will no more be the organisational chief of Chhatra League as the (party) presidium has decided so."
Hasina and other leaders of her party are annoyed and worried about the recent violence and criminal activities at different educational institutions, meeting sources said.
The AL spokesperson announced that a countrywide crackdown on violence by students or in the name of students started yesterday.
“She [Hasina] proposed that she would no longer remain organisational chief of BCL, and the presidium meeting accepted it. Even, she doesn't want to see her portrait hung in BCL's offices,”Ashraful said.
The government has directed law enforcement agencies to take stern action against student leaders or activists perpetrating violence, extortion and tender manipulation , or anyone doing these in the guise of students," he told reporters.
"The action starts right now...None would be spared if found involved in criminal activities," he added.
Meeting sources said several presidium members even suggested abolition of the BCL. But the AL leadership did not accept their suggestion.
"Chhatra League is plagued with organisational problems due to inefficiency its central committee leaders," Ashraf said.
BCL factions recently engaged in clashes at Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka Medical College, Dhaka University and Jagannath University mainly over establishing supremacy on the campus. These incidents have led to the closure of several institutions, causing embarrassment to the government.
A Dhaka Medical College student was killed in such an internal brawl of the AL's student body.
Hasina's decision to withdraw herself as the organisation's chief came following these recent violence at educational institutions, the meeting sources said, adding that the party presidium supported and approved the party chief's decision.
Hasina asked those involved in criminal activities like extortion and tender manipulation to stop such crimes, saying no one would be spared otherwise.
The AL Presidium meeting also decided that the party would amend its constitution in line with the Representation of the People Order within the timeframe given by the Election Commission.
The meeting presided over by Sheikh Hasina was also attended by Presidium members Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Fazlul Karim Selim, Tofail Ahmed, Abdur Razzak, among others.
Earlier also, after a party meeting at the Dhanmondi office on observing Mujibnagar Day on April 17, Ashraf told reporters that the government is worried about the recent violence in public universities.
"Stern legal and organisational actions would be taken against those involved in such criminal activities irrespective of their political affiliations," Ashraf said.
The meeting with AL Presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury took up elaborate programmes to observe the historic Mujibnagar Day.

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