Monday, October 21, 2019 | ePaper

Students protest at three varsities

Demand for VCs resignation getting louder

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Teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University brought out a procession on the campus on Thursday demanding resignation of its Vice-Chancellor Prof Farzana Islam over allegation of corruption.

Special Correspondent with Varsity Reporters :
Student protest has flared up at three public universities demanding resignation of the Vice-Chancellors, causing chaos and disruption in academic activities.
The protest stemmed from irregularities in admission, corruption in development work and dissatisfaction over administrative actions against students.
Students of Dhaka University (DU) have been protesting against the illegal enrolment of 34 former and incumbent BCL (Bangladesh Chhatra League) leaders into the Department of the Business Faculty.
Protesting students came under attack by BCL activities on the campus on Wednesday aggravating the situation further.
On Thursday, a protest has been staged by teachers on the DU campus against the irregularities in the enrolment. 
Later, a section of students also brought out procession accusing the varsity management of colluding with the ruling party's student wing for the illegal enrolment.  
The students, who were protesting under the banner 'DU Against Corruption,' demand resignation of the university's Vice-Chancellor and the Dean of Business Faculty.
"We will discuss with student leaders to resolve concerns and issues raised by the students. We are committed to restoring peace and stability on campus and ensuring that teaching and leanings take place as scheduled," Prof Golam Rabbani, Dean of DU, told The New Nation.
He, however, said that academic activities at the varsity remain normal despite student protest.  
Students have also been protesting at the Jahangirnagar University (JU) against mega development plan taken the varsity authorities, calling it unplanned and raising allegation that the work order provided to the contractors under shady deals.
The month-long protest has intensified after an unlawful financial deal between the varsity VC and BCL top leaders over the development project was exposed.
''BCL was given money for the project,'' said Ashikur Rahman, one of the spokespersons of the movement, adding, "We want to tell the VC that she should resign from her position with honour, otherwise, the general students will go for tougher movement."
The agitated students of JU have been demonstrating on the campus since August 23 demanding review in the mega development project and judicial probe into the allegations of corruption and irregularities that took place before approval of the project.
A group of the varsity teachers also joined with the protesting students on Thursday demanding resignation of the varsity VC for her alleged involvement in bribery and corruption in the project.
Meanwhile, a section of students of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University (BSMRSTU) on Thursday went on a fast unto death (hunger strike) to press home their one-point demand, resignation of the varsity's Vice Chancellor.
The hunger strike began following a scuffle between a group of VC-backed students and the protesters who were staging a sit-in programme in front of the Administration Building of the University around 1:30pm.
The students alleged that VC Khondoker Md Nasiruddin is involved in various misdeeds, including recruitment business, misappropriation of money and sexual harassment.
Around 1:00pm, some teachers of the university met with the demonstrators and tried to convince them to quit the demonstration, but the protesters disagreed and continued their protest.
Earlier in the day, several thousand students of BSMRSTU staged a sit-in programme in front of the Administration Building and locked its main gate demanding resignation of the VC.
The gate was locked till 4:00pm when the report was filed, according to our correspondent.
The students also brought out a procession from Gol Chattor area around 9:00am.
Last year, a woman brought allegations of sexual harassment against the VC. Instead of probing the matter, the woman has been given a post of fourth-class official at the University Library to keep her mouth shut, students claimed.
The one-point demand came from the protesters around 9:00pm last night on the campus after the authorities announced the withdrawal of the suspension of Fatema Tuz Zinia.
The protesters claimed that the VC took the step in a hurry in order to save his position amid countrywide protests and criticism.
On September 10, University authorities suspended Zinia, a second-year law student and university correspondent for the Daily Sun, for her posts on social media, which the authorities claimed has tarnished university's image.
Zinia said she did not post any derogatory remark on social media, rather she faced the suspension for her reports on irregularities and corruption in the university.

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