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SUST students start fast-unto-death demo

Teachers hold counter-protest

Published : 19 Jan 2022 10:18 PM | Updated : 20 Jan 2022 04:16 PM

Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) Vice-Chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed on Wednesday expressed sorrow over police action on students.

“I’m saddened and expressing my sorrow about the police action on students. We have already formed a probe body in this regard. And the probe committee will identify who committed such incidents after investigation,” he told reporters at his official residence on SUST campus.

Apart from the university formed probe body, the Vice-Chancellor said if it is needed the government can form a high-powered probe committee to investigate the incidents in this regard.

“And if the Vice-Chancellor is found guilty, or commits any offence, he will accept the government decision. And I’m assuring all students again that the probe body will bring the responsible persons to book,” Farid Uddin Ahmed further said.

Meanwhile, following the incident, university authorities postponed the syndicate election scheduled to be held on February 2.

On the other hand, rejecting the Vice-Chancellor’s assurance, the protesting students went on an indefinite hunger strike from 2:30pm on Wednesday to realise their three -point demand including removal of Vice-Chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed.

Earlier on Tuesday night, they issued an ultimatum to the Vice-Chancellor to resign by Wednesday noon.

They said as the Vice-Chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed had ordered the cops to beat up the students, he does not have any right to cling to the post of Vice-Chancellor.

Therefore, the Vice-Chancellor is now campaigning for protecting his post and shedding crocodile tears

“We will not be melted by the crocodile tears. And we will continue fast unto death if the VC does not resign immediately,” a 

spokesperson on behalf of the protesting students told reporters on the spot.

“We are now waiting for the President’s decision regarding the Vice-Chancellor’s resignation,” the protesting students added.

The students on Tuesday sent a letter to university’s chancellor, President Abdul Hamid, demanding the termination of the Vice-Chancellor and appointing a new Vice-Chancellor.

They also warned to go for tougher movement on campus in protest of not withdrawing the case filed by the police.

Earlier, they also gave an ultimatum to the police to withdraw the case filed against 200 to 300 unnamed students in connection to Sunday’s clash on the campus.

The agitating students also rejected the teachers’ association’s proposal to solve the crisis through holding talks.

On Tuesday afternoon, a delegation of teachers' association led by President Prof Tulsi Kumar Das and General Secretary Mohibul Alam met the protesting students and requested them to discuss how to solve the ongoing problem.

But the students refused to talk to them and continued staging demonstrations on the campus till filing of this report on Wednesday evening, requesting the teachers to express solidarity with their movement.

And they vowed to continue movement until the demands are met.

Earlier in the day, the teachers held a talk with the university's Vice-Chancellor Prof Farid Uddin Ahmed.

Meanwhile, teachers of the university on Wednesday noon formed a human chain on the campus against what they say are the anti-Vice-Chancellor students continuing making ‘vulgar and abusive’ remarks” about them.

Dr Laila Ashrafun, Professor of the Social Science department, said a section of students now demonstrating is engaged in making “indecent remarks” about male and female teachers on social media.

“We are here to protest such indecent remarks by the protesting students,”  

Professor Jashim Uddin of the same department urged the protesting students to return home and stop making such indecent remarks.

“If our students continue making indecent and abusive words targeting us, how and in what way can we stay with them?” he posed a question.

Himadri Shekhar Roy, Professor of English department said all should refrain from making such remarks that may destroy the congenial atmosphere on campus and hurt the teachers.

Later, they submitted a formal statement to the teachers’ association in this regard.

Provost of Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall, Zafrin Ahmed was at the centre of the trouble, having reportedly misbehaved with some students.

However, she has resigned from her post in the face of massive protest.

And since Thursday, the students have been demonstrating on the campus.   

The students alleged that the police charged batons and even fired rubber bullets to disperse the protesting students from near the ICT building on Monday at the behest of the university authorities.

As many as 50 students were injured in the police action.

The SUST was to close, following the clash on the campus between the cops and the protesting students on Sunday.

Its students were asked to leave the dormitories by 12pm on Monday, but most of them have not left the campus yet.

And currently the students are staying on the campus, and have locked the hall gates from inside and continued with their protest for the seventh consecutive day on Wednesday and rejected the notice of shutting down the university for an indefinite period and direction to leave the halls.

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