Shaheed Smrity Hall, the only hall for Masters and Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) students at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), has never really belonged to the general students of the university.
The information was revealed when The Business Standard talked to no fewer than 20 current and former Masters level students of the university on Monday.
Leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Buet unit have been in control of the Shaheed Smriti Hall for the last 10 years.
There is no chance for general students to enter the hall without Chhatra League affiliation, the sources claimed.
"Only BCL affiliated students and their sidekicks were able to stay at the dormitory," said an alumnus of the civil engineering department, preferring anonymity.
There are at least 240 seats available at the Shaheed Smrity Hall, according to Buet. But this correspondent could not identify anyone who had been able to stay there without any BCL affiliation.
There are three blocks in the hall, one for the newly appointed teachers and two for Masters and MPhil students, according to a source of the Buet Teachers Association.
"There is no problem with the teachers' block, but the former and current BCL leaders always occupy the rest of the seats. Senior BCL leaders used the dormitory for their own entertainment," the source said.
At least 35 former students alleged that they were not allowed in the dormitory as they had declined to join BCL politics, another source said.
A former student of the mechanical engineering department, now working in a multi-national company, said: "I couldn't get stay in the dormitory and had to live in Azimpur. A BCL activist who was not even a student occupied my seat, with BCL leaders helping him to stay illegally in the hall," the alumnus added.
Another former student of the same department said that though he was not qualified to stay in the dormitory, he managed to stay there for a few months with the favours of his BCL friends.
This correspondent has obtained a list of current and former BCL leaders who had been controlling the hall seats.
The BCL leaders controlled the allocation of seats at the Shaheed Smrity Hall, according to Dhaka Metropolitan Police intelligence sources.
Titumir Hall BCL President Debduity Sarker had control over the student section of the hall, sources said.
Dibya Mondol, BCL president at Ahsanullah Hall, was also involved in the race for dominance of the hall.
Debduity and Dibya also quarrelled over control of Shaheed Smrity hall just a month ago. Dibya and his gang physically assaulted Debduity, who had to be admitted to Dhaka Medical College for treatment.
The intelligence sources also reported that a large number of former BCL members and leaders had control over Ahsanullah Hall as well. Rownak Hasan, an 8th batch student of the computer science and engineering department, exercised control over the allotment of seats in the hall.
Despite being a Teletalk employee, Rownak would stay in the dormitory, occupying as many as 20 rooms in the second section of the hall.
His sidekicks Partha Sarathi Datta and Ujjal Halder, former students of the 8th batch, were also involved in the affair. They only permitted BCL members, who were loyal to them, to stay in the dormitory.
Dr Shahidul Islam, the hall provost, is the president of the computer science and engineering department alumni association, while Rownak is the secretary of the association.
They jointly controlled the hall seat allotment, with the general students having no say in the matter and no chance of coming by accommodation in the hall.
Shahidul Islam declined to make any comment on the issue.
However, Zamius Sani, president of Buet BCL unit, has claimed that the students' organisation had no control over the allotment of seats at Shaheed Smrity Hall.
"Everything happened on the instructions of the provost. The authorities will have to take the blame for all the irregularities, if there are any," Zamius claimed.