Defer city polls or face siege: DU students to EC

Protesting students of Dhaka University (DU) on Tuesday announced to lay a siege to the Election Commission office on Wednesday if their demand to defer the polls to the two Dhaka city corporations is not met by then.

Utpal Biswas, vice-president of Jagannath Hall Students' Union and general secretary of the hall unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League, made the announcement around 7:20pm before suspending their blockade programme at Shahbagh intersection in the city.

Blocking the busy intersection, students protested for several hours against the EC's decision to hold the city polls on January 30 when Saraswati Puja, one of the major religious festivals of the Hindu community, will be celebrated.

If the EC doesn't change their decision by 11am on Wednesday, we'll immediately start a mass march from the Raju Memorial Sculpture and lay a siege to the EC office Utpal said.

Terming the decision to hold the city elections on the day of Saraswati Puja 'unconstitutional', Jagannath Hall Students' Union general secretary Kajal Das criticised the EC.

The students, mostly inmates of DU residential halls, began the blockade programme around 5pm after the High Court turned down a writ petition seeking its directive to defer the elections.

The court passed the order considering the progress in the election process and the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations scheduled to take place on February 2.

On January 6, Advocate Ashoke Kumar Ghosh, a Supreme Court lawyer, filed the writ seeking its directive to defer the polls as Saraswati Puja, one of the biggest religious festivals of the Hindu community, will be celebrated across the country on the day.

On December 22 last, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda announced the election schedule for the polls to DNCC and DSCC fixing January 30 as the voting date.

Source: United News of Bangladesh