Rozina Islam | Nov 12, 2014

The university authorities and local administration have turned to the political leaders to resolve the conflict within Chhatra League at Chittagong University. One group of Chhatra League, with the help of political leaders, is trying to establish control within the campus. The opposing group of Chhatra League is determined not to let it enter the campus. There has been no Chhatra League committee there for five months.

Having failed to bring the situation under control, the university authorities, district administration and district Awami League leaders have decided to turn to the prime minister to resolve the problem. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to visit Chittagong today to take part in an army programme and inaugurate a flyover there. They are preparing to meet with her then to discuss this matter.

The Chittagong special branch of police have sent a report to the Home Ministry concerning Chhatra League’s in-fighting there as well as Chhatra Shibir’s strike under the banner of general students. They have stressed on the need to take action in order to bring the situation under control. They have also recommended that the university authorities place priority on resolving the conflicts within the student bodies on campus and address their demands.

The conflict and clashes erupted when on 10 June the Chhatra League committee at Chittagong University was dissolved. With no leadership, the conflict was not contained, On the contrary, it spread. Chhatra League there is now divided into three groups. All three groups are followers of Mohiuddin Chowdhury.

One group runs a programme based on the shuttle train commute and calls this the Varsity Express or VX. Another group runs a similar programme called Choose Friends with Care (CFC). The remaining group runs their activities under the name of Campus Chhatra League. CFC and Campus Chhatra League are now working together.

The leaders and activists of the three groups says that the main concern, and cause of conflict, of the three groups is which group will be given predominance in the Chhatra League committee to be announced shortly.

The Chittagong University vice chancellor, the deputy commissioner, ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, Chittagong city Awami League general secretary AZM Nasir and top official of the local administration, held a meeting recently to resolve the situation. However, they have failed to restore order.

Chittagong University VC Anwarul Azim Arif has spoken to Chittagong city Awami League president and former city mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury. They are to meet again on Saturday.

The Chittagong political leaders want the students outside of the campus to come to the halls and to take up important positions in Chhatra League. One the other hand, the Chhatra League leaders and activists who are being called non-students or outsiders, claim that they are still students and have all the documents to prove it. They blame the VC for the situation, saying that he is using the other group of Chhatra League for his own interests and declaring the genuine students to be outsiders.

Central Chhatra League leaders have even visited Chittagong University to resolve this fracas. President of Chhatra League central committee Badiuzzaman Shohag has said there will be no separate Chhatra League groups in the university and has warned against declaring each other ‘unwanted’ on campus.

ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury has told Prothom Alo that he will speak on the matter only after he discusses it the prime minister during her visit to Chittagong. He will refrain from comment on the issue at present.

Over the cell phone AZM Nasir said, “These fights are going on among Mohiuddin’s followers. My opinion is that the eligible students should stay in the university halls.”

Anwarul Azim Arif has said, “I have spoken to ABM Mohiuddin on this matter. He wants outsiders to stay in the university, but neither the prime minister’s office nor central Chhatra League want former students back on campus. Why should students come back once they have passed out? There is not enough space as it is to accommodate the general students, so how can the non-students be kept there?” The VC has said that not all in the group are non-students. “There are junior students with them too,” he said.

Chittagong deputy commissioner Mesbah Uddin has said, “I have seen this conflict ever since I joined this post. They make up and then break up again. Political initiative can solve the problem.” He said they will try to draw the prime minister’s attention to the matter when she visits Chittagong today.