BUET students’ open letter to PM Hasina for a campus free from politics

The demonstrating BUET students held a press conference on 2 April, 2024Prothom Alo

The students of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) have now moved to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with their demand of a campus free from politics.

The students said the politics-free BUET campus was the safest and most education friendly. They are united against the communal forces. They also said they expect the prime minister to be on their side.

The demonstrating BUET students held a press conference in front of the Dr MA Rashid Administrative building around 6:00 pm Tuesday. There they read out an open letter addressing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to press home their demand.

The BUET authorities banned student politics following the killing of Abrar Fahad on campus in 2019. However, student politics is going to be reintroduced in BUET following a High Court order on Monday.

In this context, the students urged the BUET vice-chancellor and teachers to take initiative to ban student politics on campus. The student made the same demand to the prime minister in a press conference Tuesday.

Five BUET students read out the open letter addressing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the press conference.

The letter reads, “We don’t understand the intricacies of violent politics; we only know how to love the country and its people. We are determined to prove that through our activities. Honourable prime minister, we observed only the negative sides of the power practice in the name of student politics. It was student politics which introduced the trends like establishing supremacy, ragging, harassing the teachers, extortions, torturing students and even killing.”

It further said, “They said the politically free BUET campus was the safest and most education friendly. We are also united against the communal force. Since the ban on student politics, the common BUET students have observed every national day with utmost respect and homage on BUET campus. We all bear the national value and the spirit of liberation war from our own personal standpoint.”

The BUET students further said in the letter, “It is unfortunate that some media outlets and a few persons are spreading propaganda that student politics free BUET campus as a place of breeding ideology against national sentiment. We are quite hurt by this. We, the common students of BUET, are quite respectful towards the constitution and the laws of the country. Therefore, we are committed to keep our campus free of violence, militancy and communal activities just like any other place in the country.”

The students further said addressing the prime minister, “We want to tell you without any hesitation that we will take immediate actions and will inform the authorities as soon as we find somebody involved in militant activities. We will remain strict in this regard even in the future.”

The students also said that they have spent the last four years at BUET without any hassle or tension when student politics was banned on campus.
The letter reads, “Hundreds of thousands of students like us leave their homes with the dream of such a campus, where they will not face any harassment and torture for nothing. They dream of a campus where they will not have to cower fearing someone and the parents will not have to worry about their children. We have learned to live anew on this campus at your quick and firm intervention four years ago. But, the travesty of fate is that we have been facing threats and being insulted and abused relentlessly because of this small request.

“We, and our juniors, do not want to witness those dark days once again. We have full confidence in our honourable vice-chancellor and all the teachers. They are and will always strive to ensure maximum safety of their children. Hon’ble prime minister, we sincerely request you to stand by us. You have always stood by the students. We know that you will not leave us in this difficult time.”

The BUET students also said to the prime minister in the open letter, “Please keep BUET out of student politics, with amending the law, if necessary. Because law is enacted for justice. We request you to please come to our campus. We would like to show you the ideal campus that the BUET, without student politics, has turned into for students over the past few years. We promise you, we will overtake the world’s leading technological universities soon. Only you can keep our journey smooth. This letter is in that hope. We, thousands of your children, await your cooperation.”