Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Documents from police raids showed they made around Tk 24 lakh a year out of it; RU moves to take legal action
Seats of different dormitories at Rajshahi University were illegally rented out to students by Islami Chhatra Shibir cadres in connivance with a section of office staff.
The Shibir leaders and activists involved in the illegal business invested the seat rent money in credit schemes for party men in addition to paying out for organisational activities.
These facts were revealed from documents seized during joint raids to different dormitories by the university authorities and law enforcers since February 23.
The Daily Star has obtained copies of the documents seized at Suhrawardy Hall on February 25.
The university authorities are scrutinising the documents to detect those responsible and submit a report to police for taking legal action, RU Vice-Chancellor Prof M Abdus Sobhan told The Daily Star.
He said the proctors and hall provosts have been assigned to prepare the report.
According to sources and the documents, Shibir men were pocketing around Tk 24 lakh every year through the seat business at 11 male students' dormitories since 2005.
The Shibir men used to rent out 40 to 50 rooms at each dormitory and their income from those rooms was Tk 18,000-20,000 per month.
The hall unit leaders used to maintain accounts of this business on several register books, which were also audited every month by leaders from other halls, RU and city units, the sources say.
The sources added that some supervisors and other staffs of the halls used to help the Shibir leaders trade on vacant seats.
The documents obtained from Suhrawardy Hall show Shibir's monthly income hovered between Tk 4,160 and Tk 8,660 excluding the month of January in 2008 during the changed scenario under the caretaker rule.
In January 2008, the Suhrawardy Hall unit Shibir earned Tk 18,320 against 49 seats in 33 rooms. They collected Tk 120 to Tk 840 in rent from each student.
Their annual income from the hall was Tk 78,455 in 2007 and Tk 73,882 in 2008.
From this income, 44 Shibir men of different halls and Shibir-controlled private messes including Students' Welfare hostel of Binodpur were given credit amounting to over Tk 28,000 between February 2009 and January 2010.
The figures of their loan amount to Tk 100 to Tk 5,000, the documents show.
Shibir had other source of income through the general students on the campus. They used to earn up to Tk 2,000 each month through sale, often by force, of six publications -- Kishore Kantha, Chhatra Sangbad, Youth Wave, Nirjhor, Students Views and Current Issue.
The sources say Shibir men engaged in such illegal activities created terror among the students and forced them to accept everything they did.
A document shows leaders of the Suhrawardy Hall unit were asked to send "hardcore Shibir men to the rooms of Bangladesh Chhatra League men with an aim to terrorise them".
Signed by different halls' Shibir leaders including Anisur Rahman, Abu Kawsar Akand, Atikul Islam, Arif Hossain, Jahangir Alam, Habibullah Masum, Khalid Hossain and Faruk Hossain in last January, the document also suggested listing the hall officials and staff, increasing activities at every room and working among common students in a planned way.
The document says Shibir has a spy by the name of Mohammad Ali Khan among 11 BCL workers at the hall.
A diary maintained by hall unit Shibir secretary Abdur Razzak shows his notes from a meeting on how to launch attacks on other halls.
"Their activities [as found in the documents] appear to be too enormous to be carried out by students alongside their studies," commented the VC, saying, they built Shibir secretariat at every hall.