National, Back Page

Why forced hair cutting won’t be declared illegal: HC

Published : 30 Sep 2021 09:58 PM | Updated : 02 Oct 2021 12:17 PM

The High Court has issued a rule asking why the punishment given to 14 students of Rabindra University in Sirajganj through cutting their hair won’t be declared illegal.

The HC bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Kamrul Islam Mollah issued the order on Thursday (September 30).

The HC bench directed the probe committee, which was formed to investigate the incident, to submit their report within a month.

On September 25, Farhana Yasmin Baten, head of the Department of History, Culture and Bangladesh Studies of the university, instructed the students to trim their hair before entering the exam hall.

On September 26, the head of the department was standing with scissors in front of an examination hall where first-year students sat for the final examination. She stopped the students whose hair was long. Later, she asked the university staff to trim the hair of at least 14 students who had long hair before entering the examination hall. 

The teacher also verbally abused and humiliated the students inside the examination hall. The incident went viral when the victim students posted about it on Facebook in protest.

However, Farhana Yasmin called Nazmul Hasan Tuhin, one of the protesting students, to her chamber. She insulted him and threatened him with permanent expulsion from the university.

After facing the humiliation, Tuhin tried to commit suicide by taking sleeping pills in his room at Shah Makhdum Hall the following day. He was rescued in a critical condition and rushed to a local hospital. 

Protesting the incident of forced hair cutting, students of Rabindra University staged a demonstration on the campus demanding termination of Farhana Yasmin. 

Read more: Forced haircut at Rabindra University

The students boycotted the exams and submitted a four-point memorandum to the university authorities. The demands also include action against the head of the  department and other teachers who were present at the scene, fresh exam routine and bearing the medical expenditure of the student who attempted to commit suicide.

Boycotting classes and exams, the students continued their hunger strike on Thursday demanding permanent removal of the teacher.

However, Farhana Yasmin stepped down from the three posts of the university-- head of the department, proctorial body and syndicate member. On September 28, she submitted her resignation letter to the university authorities.

Meanwhile, Rabindra University authorities have formed a five-member probe committee, with Chairman of Rabindra Studies department Laila Fardous Himel as its head, for investigating the incident.