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Quota reformists postpone decision to boycott exams

  • Published at 11:45 am May 19th, 2018
  • Last updated at 11:48 am May 19th, 2018
Female students gather at Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall of Dhaka University on the night of April 11, protesting the alleged harassment of quota reformists by Bangladesh Chhatra League activist Iffat Jahan Isha Dhaka Tribune

'The vice-chancellor and proctor of DU are rumour-mongers'

Quota reformists have postponed their decision to boycott examinations at all universities and colleges across the country, due to Ramadan and “session jam” following their strike.   

“We have postponed the decision for an indefinite period considering session jam and the ongoing Ramadan,” said

Nurul Haque Nuru, joint convener of Bangladesh General Student Rights Protection Council, told a press conference on the Dhaka University campus on Saturday.

They will, however, continue to boycott classes, he added. 

Students started boycotting classes and examinations from May 14 at all universities and colleges for an indefinite period, demanding a gazette notification on abolishing the existing quota scheme in government jobs.

The decision came as the government did not publish the notification by a deadline set by the students, which ended on May 13 at 5:00pm.

Students and jobseekers across the country waged a movement and blocked roads in cities including Dhaka early last month, demanding  measures be taken to reform the quota scheme and jobseekers be recruited based on merit. 

Scores of demonstrators were injured during the movement as police used baton charges to disperse them.

In the face of vehement demonstrations, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on April 11 told parliament that the quota scheme would be abolished.

‘DU VC, proctor rumour-mongers’

In response to a show-cause notice issued by the DU authorities to 25 female students of the university’s Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall, Hasan Al Mamun, convener of the student platform, said the notice was issued only to harass those who took part in demonstrations demanding reforms to the quota system.

He urged the authorities not to harass students under the guise of a show-cause notice.

Also Read - Alleged harassment of Chhatra League leader: 25 DU students served show-cause notice

“The DU authorities expelled Chhatra League leader Iffat Jahan Isha from the university after finding her guilty for torturing some of the demonstrators at Sufia Kamal Hall. But they later backtracked on the expulsion order, saying the allegations were unproven. In fact, the vice-chancellor and proctor of DU are rumour-mongers,” Nuru said.

On Friday, the DU authorities issued a show-cause notice to 25 female students of the dormitory after “finding their involvement” in the alleged harassment of Isha, president of the Sufia Kamal Hall unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League, during the quota reform movement.

In the notice, DU Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani ordered them to come up with a "satisfactory response" to the notice within two weeks, adding that they would take actions against them if they fail to respond within the stipulated timeframe.

On the night of April 11, several hundred enraged students of the dormitory reportedly harassed Isha after allegations surfaced in the media that she had cut the tendons of a female student and tortured several others for taking part in the movement.  

A video clip showed the aggrieved students putting a garland of shoes on Isha’s neck.

Following the allegations, Isha was removed from her post and expelled from the ruling Awami League’s student wing.  She was also expelled from the university.

Chhatra League, however, reinstated her in the post within 48 hours of expulsion, saying the allegations against her were proven to be “baseless.”     

The university authorities also followed suit and withdrew the expulsion order against Isha.     

They also dismissed the allegations against Isha as “rumours spread to trigger violence and destabilize the university campus.”   

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