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DU MCJ students protest sexual harassment

Published : 12 Feb 2024 10:32 PM

Students of the Dhaka University Journalism department locked the classrooms and boycotted class exams for the second day on Monday, demanding justice for sexual harassment and emotional abuse. 

At the same time, they took a stand in front of the residence of the vice chancellor on a three-point demand.

On Monday morning, the students occupied the corridor and locked four rooms of the department.

They put a lock on the accused teacher’s room and, later, three classrooms. After that, the students went to the office of the vice chancellor in a protest procession. While the vice chancellor was absent in his office, the students took up positions in front of his residence.

The students said they will not return to classes until effective action is taken against Prof. Naadir Junaid, and that the classrooms were locked to speed up the process.

Meanwhile, the students submitted a memorandum containing three-point demands to the Vice-Chancellor. The demands are:

1. An investigation committee should be constituted as soon as possible to look into the allegations of sexual harassment brought against Professor Naadir Junaid.

2. The sex offender should be brought to justice as soon as possible.

3. The accused teacher should be suspended from all academic activities during the investigation or until the complaint is disposed of.

Students said that they had already locked the classrooms. After that, they went to meet the Vice-Chancellor, Professor ASM Maksud Kamal. But as the Vice-Chancellor was not there, they staged a protest march in front of his residence. Their department chairman and other teachers were also there.

They say that the Vice-Chancellor has assured them that he will send a letter to their department by 4 pm. He also assured the students that they would fulfill the three-point demands. However, if the demands are not met, the students said that they will again stand in front of the VC’s residence.

Earlier on Sunday afternoon, a student of the department filed a written complaint against the professor of the mass communication and journalism department with some evidence to the vice chancellor, ASM Maksud Kamal. The previous day on Saturday she also made a written complaint to the proctor Prof Maksudur Rahman.

Sources said, another student of the same department raised the complaint of covering up an incident of sexual harassment by a student close to that teacher in 2022. He also complained to the proctor of the university on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the leaders and activists of the left-wing student organizations held a torch march on the campus on Sunday evening, demanding justice for allegations of sexual harassment and mental torture.

On that day, a torch procession was taken out in front of DU’s Student-Teacher Center (TSC) under the banner of ‘Dhaka University Students’ Anti-Oppression Torch Procession’. Later, the procession went through various roads of the campus and ended in front of the central library of the university. The student leaders addressed a short rally there.