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Protest continues at JU despite authorities’ ban

  • Published at 10:30 am November 7th, 2019
File photo: Students bring out a procession at Jahangirnagar University on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Students have continued protesting in Jahangirnagar University (JU) ignoring the authorities' ban

Defying the authorities’ ban on mass gatherings on campus, the students of an indefinitely closed Jahangirnagar University (JU) continued their demonstrations yesterday, demanding removal of Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Farzana Islam over corruption allegations.

After peacefully demonstrating throughout the day, hundreds of students and teachers brought out a procession from the old administration building and marched to the VC’s residence, to which they went on to lay a siege, in the evening.

Police have the residence cordoned off in several layers to ensure security of the VC and her family.

Shovon Rahman, organizing secretary of Samajtantrik Chhatra Front’s JU unit and one of the organizers of platform “Jahangirnagar against Corruption,” told reporters that they would continue the protest peacefully with cultural activities.

The students then went on to organize a concert in front of the VC’s house in the night.

Meanwhile, JU’s acting proctor ASM Firoz Ul Hasan told reporters that they have already closed the dormitories and suspended classes and exams after the university was closed indefinitely.

“Students have already left halls. In this situation, if anyone tries to create untoward situation that will be an anti-disciplinary move,” he warned, and added that the authorities will take steps as the situation demands.

No to the bans

On Wednesday night, the university authority had sent out a notice banning all kinds of meetings, protests and rallies on campus and prohibited students from staying in the office or hall area.

The notice said students have already left the hall premises and the shops inside the campus were also shut down. Under the circumstances, the authority deems it unsafe for students to reside in campus.

However, the protesting teachers and students yesterday defied the orders and started the day’s program at noon by bringing out a procession from the old administrative building.

The procession moved through various streets and residential areas inside the university and stopped in front of the VC’s residence for some time. The rally came to an end after returning to the old administrative building.

The protesters have reiterated that their demonstrations would continue until the VC resigned or was removed from her post by the government.

The protests had intensified over the past two weeks, during which the protesters were also attacked by Chhatra League men once.

Defying JU authorities’ decision to close the university indefinitely and ban mass gatherings on campus, the students and teachers have been staging sit-in protests in front of the VC’s residence for the past four days.

JU Chhatra League secy resigns

In another development, Bangladesh Chhatra League’s JU unit General Secretary SM Abu Sufian Chanchal has resigned from his post.

The ruling party student wing’s central committee acting general secretary Lekhak Bhattacharjee and Office Secretary Ahsan Habib both confirmed receiving Chanchal’s resignation letter, but declined to reveal why he did so.

Lekhak said: “Chanchal submitted his resignation letter on Wednesday. But we are yet to decide whether we will accept it.”

Chanchal was unavailable for comments, while JU unit President Jewel Rana said he was unaware of the development.

The students at JU have been demonstrating on campus since August 23, demanding the removal of VC Farzana for her alleged involvement in misappropriation of around Tk1.6 crore from a Tk1,445-crore development project, in collusion with Chhatra League’s central and university unit leaders.

It is alleged that Jewel was given Tk50 lakh, Chanchal Tk25 lakh, JU unit Joint Secretary Saddam Hossain and Vice-President Niamul Hassan Tk25 lakh, and Chhatra League central committee Tk1 crore.

Jewel and Chanchal had denied the allegations at the time.

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