The protesting students of Dhaka University are continue their agitation demanding deferment of Dhaka city’ polls set for January 30. On Wednesday they blocked Shahbagh intersection for an hour after cops stopped them from marching towards Election Commission (EC) building.
The students gathered in front of Raju Sculpture at 1 pm and staged demonstrations carrying placards.
As per their scheduled program, the students also tried to march towards the Election Commission office in Agargaon, but were barred and stopped by police near the National Museum in Shahbagh.
Then they took position at the intersection to stage their protests.
Addressing a protest rally, spokesperson on behalf of the demonstrators, Utpal Biswas, also VP of Jagannath hall Chhatrasangsad and general secretary of Chhatra League’s hall unit, said, “We always celebrate Swaraswati Puja in a non-communal manner with those who belong to other religions.”
“Every student is in favour of rescheduling the polls.” He said.
Utpal condemned the remarks made by Election Commission Senior Secretary Md Alamgir about holding polls on the day of Saraswati Puja.
Terming election as another festival of Bangladesh, he said: “Puja and polls should not be held on the same day. We demand immediate rescheduling of Dhaka city polls.”
On Tuesday, the High Court turned down a petition filed seeking a rescheduling of Dhaka south and north city corporation elections scheduled for January 30.
Later that day, agitating students blocked the intersection at around 5pm, leaving thousands of citizens trapped in massive gridlocks on the connecting roads.
The protesting students also gave an 18-hour ultimatum to the Election Commission to reschedule the polls.
After the commission announced on December 22 last year that polls to DSCC and DNCC would be held on January 30, 2020, the members of the Hindu community protested the decision as they were set to celebrate Saraswati Puja on January 29-30.
Matters became more complicated with the school holiday calendar, sanctioned by the government, marking January 29 for the Hindu religious festival.
Thousands of Dhaka University students, Teachers, DUCSU leaders and other organizations urged the Election Commission to reschedule the election day to facilitate the community in celebrating the festival.
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.