Hasina gives up role as BCL guardian
[Bangla Daily Star] 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.
Posted by: Fred 2009-04-05