The vice president of the Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu), Nurul Haque Nur, alleges that the government is refusing to give him a passport in order to restrict his travel.
"Getting a passport is a citizen's basic right. But the government is repudiating it so that I cannot develop any connection with the outer world, including universities," Nur told journalists on Sunday at the Law Reporters' Forum in the Supreme Court premises.
Prior to Nur's press conference, a High Court bench in the morning set the first week of January 2020 for the next date of hearing on Nur's writ for a passport, filed on October 1.
"The government is ethically weak. It is afraid of any student protest because it thinks it might turn into an anti-government movement at any time," said Nur.
"They are trying their utmost to curb the movement of dissidents. They are even influencing the judiciary for this purpose," Nur added.
The Ducsu leader said the passport office compelled him to go to court because it is deliberately delaying in giving him a passport. "The court has deferred the hearing on my writ petition, which means it cannot perform independently either."
Nur's lawyer Mohsin Rashid said a passport is an emergency need for a citizen. "We sought the court's help, but it did not hear our case."
"We are afraid the government is not willing to give Nur a passport. If the government seeks further time in the next hearing and the court allows it, Nur might complete his term in Ducsu before getting his passport," Mohsin said.
The Ducsu vice president had been invited by Nepal's Tribhuvan University to take part in a seminar in July. He submitted a form at the Agargaon passport office on April 23 to get a passport urgently. The office set May 2 for the delivery of the passport.
But Nur did not get his passport even a month after he applied. When he contacted the officials at the passport office, he was told to meet the director general.
The director general told him that he will not get a passport because there are several lawsuits against him.
The Ducsu vice president filed a writ at the High Court on August 1 over this issue.