Probe panel finds video evidence; accused teacher Farhana Yeasmin claims innocence
The High Court has asked the probe committee formed to investigate the alleged forced haircuts at Rabindra University to submit its findings to the court within a month.
The High Court bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah passed the order on Thursday after holding a hearing on a writ petition filed by Barrister Humayun Kabir Pallab seeking court directives on the issue.
The High Court also issued a rule asking why the act of forcing haircuts on students should not be declared illegal.
Reports of the forced haircuts on 14 students on Sunday by Cultural Heritage and Bangladesh Studies Department Chairperson Farhana Yeasmin has caused quite a stir on social media.
Probe panel finds evidence
The university probe committee tasked with investigating the incident claims to have obtained video footage from a CCTV camera that proves that Farhana Yeasmin did actually cut the hair of several students with scissors, according to media reports.
The panel was scheduled to hold a meeting on Thursday and would likely submit its report by Friday, said Laila Ferdous Himel, who heads the probe body.
The committee would also share the footage with the media in the interest of transparency, said Himel, chairperson of the university’s Rabindra Studies Department.
Students continue hunger strike
A group of students continued their hunger strike for the second day on Thursday, demanding the permanent removal of Farhana Yeasmin.
Though Farhana Yeasmin has already stepped down from three administrative positions at the university, the demonstrators told the media that they would keep protesting until her resignation.
The protesters also locked several buildings of the university, including the administrative building, resulting in exams being postponed.
Habibur Rahman and Majedul Islam, two students participating in the hunger strike, fell ill at one point, but continued their strike after receiving medical care.
Suicide attempt survivor discharged from hospital
Unable to bear the “humiliation of the forced haircut”, a student of the Cultural Heritage and Bangladesh Studies Department had attempted to commit suicide on Monday.
He later returned to his dorm after receiving medical attention at Khwaja Yunus Ali Medical College Hospital, said one of his classmates.
Protesters said Farhana Yeasmin had of late been reprimanding male students for keeping their hair long.
She was seen standing, armed with a pair of scissors, in front of an exam hall on Sunday. She later stopped students whose hair exceeded a certain length and chopped off the hair of 14 students, they alleged.
However, Farhana Yeasmin maintains that she did not touch a single student’s hair.
She claimed some “internal politics” might have caused the outcry.