BUET situation: Let the impasse end quickly 

EditorialProthom Alo illustration

Incidents occurring at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in the last few days are not only abnormal but alarming as well.

Student politics was banned there after Abrar Fahad, a student of the Sher-e-Bangla Hall was killed at the hands of Chhatra League leaders and activists on the night of 6 October 2019. There has been no mishap at the university in the last four and a half years following that decision.

But has why a sudden impasse been created to the end of March 2024? The agitating students have protested and boycotted exams. On the other hand, Chhatra League holding a rally at the central Shaheed Minar Sunday demanded introduction of systematic politics in BUET.

The situation originated from BCL leaders visiting BUET campus last Wednesday midnight. Meanwhile after 10:30pm even BUET students are barred from entering the campus.

The question is, after party affiliated student politics was banned on BUET campus on the basis of students and teachers’ unanimity, what situation has been created now that the Chhatra League has to visit there at midnight?

Students are holding programmes protesting the visit of BCL leaders and activists as well as demanding security on campus. They made a five-point demand, including the permanent expulsion of six BUET students for assisting the Chhatra League leaders and activists enter the campus.

While vice-chancellor of the university, Satya Prasad Majumder agreed with some of the demands made by the students, he criticised their decision to boycott the examination.

The incidents from BUET are no longer limited within the BUET campus. Awami League general secretary and bridges minister Obaidul Quader has said to investigate if there’s a militant involvement behind the movement at BUET.

Even the education minister has alleged militant and fundamentalist organisations being active at BUET. If there are radical activities at BUET or not is a matter to be investigated by the home ministry and the intelligence agencies. Chhatra League or any other student organisation has nothing to do here.

Chhatra League has demanded introduction of systematic student politics at BUET. What do they mean by systematic student politics? The systematic student politics has to be about students’ problems and the elected student council alone has the authority to speak in this matter.

There is also the question whether those demanding systematic politics at BUET are giving other student organisations the scope to co-exist in other campuses or not.

The meaning of systematic student politics being active at educational institutions is that all student organisations will be able to run their activities there and elected representatives of the student council will strive to protect the learning environment and solve the problems of the students without holding onto the tail of a party. But, no such situation exists in reality. So, Chhatra League speaking about the systematic politics is pointless.

We however believe that the protesting student too shouldn’t take any action that disrupts the academic activities. This will indeed hamper those students, whose interest they are trying to protect through the protests. It is everyone’s demand that the proper environment of education is secured. Suspension of academic activities cannot be desirable in any way.

The university administration has formed an investigation committee in context of students’ demand. We’ll hope that the investigation committee will present a proper report and take necessary action to solve the current impasse. Let a fair and normal environment return to the university, exams and classes go on - this is the expectation of all.

Also Read