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JU unrest: Protesters announce program for Thursday

  • Published at 11:27 am November 6th, 2019
JU protest
File Photo: Agitated students of JU at the sit in protest in front of the VC's residence at the university compound on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Earlier at 5pm, the protesters took position in front of gate of the VC’s residence

Protesting students and teachers of Jahangirnagar University (JU) have announce their programs for Thursday as part of their ongoing demonstrations demanding resignation of the university’s Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Farzana Islam.

In an announcement on Wednesday night, the protesters chalked out different programs as part of their protests on Thursday.

The programs include – At 9am: Barricading the administrative building of the university and even putting it under lock and key if the administration tries to resume activities in the building. At 12 noon, a protest rally will be brought out from the university’s old registrar building area and marched throughout the campus. In the evening, an acoustic concert will be held at the main gate of the VC’s residence.

Earlier at 5pm, the protesters took position in front of gate of the VC’s residence, which has been kept barricaded by police.

In the morning, around 150 students gathered on campus around 10:30am and brought out a procession from the old Arts building of the institution.

Many teachers have also joined the procession demanding the resignation of the vice chancellor. Protesters also condemned the attack on them, which left 25 people injured on Tuesday.

A caricature drawn on a wall of Jahangirnagar University during the protest under banner of 'Jahangirnagar against Corruption' | Dhaka TribuneThird year student of JU's Chemistry department, Tazrin Islam Tonni, also one of the protesters, said: "We will not move away from the campus until the vice chancellor resigns. We will remain very firm on our stance of Prof Farzana's resignation."

The procession passed through all the residential halls for females, requesting the remaining students to join the protest.

The procession ended near the old administrative building where the protesters held a mass rally under the name "Sanghati Shomabesh," which can be loosely translated to "solidarity rally," around 11:30am.

Police create a barricade in front of VC's residence at Jahangirnagar University Campus on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 | Dhaka TribuneProf Sharminda Nirmali Talia, of the Economics department, addressed the rally saying: "We must meet with the Chancellor President Abdul Hamid with a plea to suspend the vice chancellor from her position."

"Chhatra League was persuaded by Prof Farzana to attack the students yesterday [Tuesday]. Yesterday's attack was an act of crime; therefore the perpetrators must be brought to book under criminal laws."

 Another teacher of the institution, Jamaluddin of Environmental Science department, said: "The protesters have been consumed with rage after yesterday's [Tuesday] attack on them.”

"The syndicate made the decision of closing down the university to save Chhatra League from the wrath of the protesters."

Meanwhile, most female students have already vacated the residential halls, while some were seen leaving this morning, our correspondent reported.

Students bring out a procession at Jahangirnagar University on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 | Dhaka TribuneSome residential halls for males are still occupied mostly by some Chhatra League members.

Among the halls for females, Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall has been kept open so that the few protesting female students can reside there.

Sumaiya Rokoni, a resident of Jahanara Imam Hall, said: "We were asked to vacate the halls by 9am this morning. Therefore, the hall tutors came to our rooms at the exact time and ordered us to leave."

Moreover, police has been deployed near the residence of the vice chancellor for her safety.

Earlier in the morning around 8:30am, the protesting students forced the officials and staffs of the university's new administrative building out of their office and sealed the building.

On Tuesday evening, Prof Dr Farzana called a press conference, where she termed the attack on protesters, allegedly by Chhatra League members, as a “mass uprising.”

She also thanked the JU unit of the ruling party’s student front for “freeing” her from the protesters.

Why are the JU students protesting?

For the last 13 days, a number of students and teachers of Jahangirnagar University have been demonstrating on the campus under the banner of “Jahangirnagar against Corruption,” demanding VC Farzana’s resignation on allegations of corruption.

Earlier on Tuesday, the university was shut down for an indefinite period after 25 people were injured in an attack on the protesters, allegedly by members of Chhatra League JU unit.

But when asked about the attack, JU unit President Jewel Rana said there were allegations that there were members of Islami Chhatra Shibir, student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, among the protesters.

The vice chancellor, under their strict vigil, visited her office in the old administrative building for a few minutes, before going to the new building where she attended the press conference.

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