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CU launches complaint cell to prevent ragging, torture

  • Published at 04:12 pm October 23rd, 2019
Chittagong University
File photo of Chittagong University's main entrance Dhaka Tribune

It was launched with a view to decrease incidents of ragging and torture on students

Authorities in Chittagong University (CU) have launched an online student complaint cell to prevent harassment, ragging and torture.

The "CU Student Complaint Cell", a website, was launched by Vice Chancellor Shireen Akhtar in the presence of the proctor, assistant proctors, registrar, deans of various faculties, and other officials, around 12:30pm on Monday. 

The students will be able to use the cell to lodge complaints under different categories, such as ragging, threats, extortion, torture, physical assault, sexual harassment, social media fraud, eve-teasing, and others. 

The authorities decided to launch the website just before the admission test of Chittagong University commenced from October 27-31. 

Admission candidates can use this website as well. The complainants can log in using the address www.cuproctor.org.

Acting proctor of Chittagong University, Rezaul Karim, said: "We are launching this website to prevent unwanted incidents on campus. The students and candidates can complain freely, as we will maintain their anonymity."

He added: “We believe this website will help bring down the rate of these incidents occurring on campus."

Students and teachers have lauded the initiative, but remarked that it should have been taken a long time earlier. 

Ipshita Chakraborty, a fourth-year student of Biochemistry, said: "Ragging is a common occurrence in our campus; not just during the admission period, but throughout the whole year.”

"Newcomers are tortured," she claimed. 

"The university authorities are taking steps after Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) student Abrar Fahad was murdered," Ipshita said. "However, students are doubtful whether these steps will help to stop ragging."

When asked about previous instances of complaints of ragging against Chhatra League activists, Iqbal Hossain Tipu, general secretary of the Chittagong University chapter of Chhatra League, said their new committee cannot be held accountable.

"The culture of ragging is an old one," he said. "What happened during the previous committee's time, cannot be put on us."

He said, earlier, students used to harass freshmen in the name of Chhatra League. "Our new committee is staying alert so that this does not happen during our time.”

"Our specialized team will work on the field during this year's admission exams," the Chhatra League general secretary said. "If anyone - be it from our organization or an outsider - is found involved in ragging, that person will be handed over to the authorities at once."

Similar remarks were made by the president of Chittagong University Chhatra League Rezaul Haque Rubel.  

Earlier on October 10, the university authorities announced they would install CCTV surveillance system at all of its 12 student halls.

After Buet student Abrar was beaten to death inside his hall at the Buet campus on October 6, controversies spread regarding the state of safety and security of the general students inside university campuses. 

The country decried the actions of a few Chhatra League leaders who were blamed for beating Abrar to death. 

Massive protests were staged following the incident, and Buet students also demanded for the reintroduction of a complaint cell similar to the one launched in Chittagong University. 

However, on October 10, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) ordered blocking of an online subdomain page that listed over 150 complaints anonymously made by current and former students of Buet. 

Most of the complaints were made against leaders and activists of the university unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League.