Asking students to refrain from resorting to vandalism in educational institutions, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government would no longer tolerate such activities.
“Any sort of vandalism will not be tolerated. It will not happen that students vandalise their educational institutions and I accept this,” she said.
The premier was inaugurating the 29th national council of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Suhrawardy Udyan in the afternoon.
She said the law enforcement agencies have been asked to take prompt and appropriate steps against those students involved in vandalism.
“No one will be spared, no matter which organisation they belong to. Appropriate actions will be taken.”
Referring to the recent attack on the Dhaka University vice-chancellor's residence during the quota reform movement, she said such a heinous act did not happen in the country before.
“An investigation is underway. Many of those involved in the incident have already been arrested while others will be picked up. I have asked the law enforcement agencies to take proper action against the culprits.”
She thanked the general students and the BCL men as no major untoward incident took place in educational institutions in the last nine years.
Hasina, also the Awami League chief, asked the teachers to refrain from engaging in conflicts among themselves which cause harm to their students.
Talking on a different note, she advised the students to use internet as a platform for learning. She asked them to keep themselves away from militancy, terrorism and drug abuse.
The PM said the students should have proper knowledge about traffic rules.
About picking the next BCL leadership, she called for going to selection after reaching an understanding. “Sit and choose your leadership. Select such leaders who will strengthen the organisation.”
She asked the aspirant leaders to learn how to sacrifice for achieving something in future.
Regarding the age limit of BCL leaders, she said it was 27 years in the last council, but as the present committee continued in office for nine months more, the age limit would be 28 years this time.
“The incumbent committee has been in force for two years and nine months. The leaders are in posts for an additional nine months. I don't want anyone to be left out from any post for these nine months. So we can give one year as a grace period.”
Describing the BCL's role in the country's Liberation War, all democratic movements and struggles, Hasina said every achievement of the Bangalee nation came as a result of the sacrifice of BCL leaders and activists.
She said Chhatra League was one of the oldest student organisations in the subcontinent which earned freedom for the nation and worked for making independence and democracy sustainable amid intimidation from the military dictators during the pre- and post-independence periods.
She said the history of Chhatra League and Bangladesh was identical. “Bangabandhu had founded the student front when the Pakistani rulers attempted to snatch the rights of Bangalee people to speak in their mother tongue. Chhatra League was founded at the time of the Language Movement to establish Bangla as the state language.”
Earlier, the PM hoisted the national flag at the council venue while the BCL president and general secretary hoisted the organisation's flag.
She opened the council by releasing pigeons and balloons.
BCL General Secretary SM Zakir Hossain presented the organisational report at the opening ceremony, presided over by its President Saifur Rahman Sohag.
AL General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader also spoke at the programme.
Councillors from 109 BCL organisational units from home and abroad are taking part in the two-day conference to pick new leadership.