Students of seven colleges affiliated with Dhaka University (DU) took to the streets to press home their five-point demand on Sunday, including withdrawal of a police case against 1,200 of their fellow students and publication of their year-end exam results, blocking the New Market-Nilkhet intersection.
Their protest caused severe traffic gridlock in the area all day.
Students from the affiliated colleges - Dhaka College, Eden Mohila College, Government Shaheed Suhrawardi College, Kabi Nazrul Government College, Begum Badrunnesa Government Women College, Mirpur Government Bangla College and Government Titumir College - took position on the street at 9am for demonstration.
Their demands are: withdrawal of the case against 1,200 students of the seven colleges, publication their second- and fourth-year exam results, announcement of the exam schedule for third year, a new academic calendar and a separate website for all the seven colleges.
Shahbagh police filed the attempt to murder case against the 1,200 students
on July 20 this year following a police-student clash over another demonstration.
A few of the students temporarily left the protest after interim DU vice-chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman assured them that their demands would be met, but they went back to the protest after a while.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Prof Akhtaruzzaman said he had assured the protesters that the results of second and fourth year exams would be published by November.
"We have already published the third-year exam schedule, which is set to begin on October 23. We will try to take necessary measures regarding the rest of the [students'] demands,” he added.
When asked about the affiliation of the colleges, he said: “We are paying the price of the grave mistake [of making the affiliation].”
However, the protesting students were not reassured by the VC.
"We do not trust what the VC told us," said Nayeem Hossain, fourth-year philosophy student at Dhaka College. "We want the exact date of when the results will be published."
Bangladesh Chhatra League Central Committee President Saifur Rahman Sohag and General Secretary SM Jakir Hossain met with the protesting students around 5:30pm.
They had a meeting with a representative group of the protesters during which the protesters agreed to suspend their demonstrations for the time being.
"The demands that the students of the DU-affiliated colleges have made are logical," said Chhatra League chief Sohag. "But we do not want any public sufferings. That is why we tried to create a space for negotiation between the protesters and the DU authorities.
'We will meet with the DU vice-chancellor at 12pm tomorrow [Monday] along with the representatives of the student bodies of the seven colleges to confirm a specific date for the result publication," Sohag added.