Protesters for reduction of quota in public service recruitment on Friday demanded resignation of Dhaka University’s Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall provost Sabita Rezwana Rahman, protesting at the ousting of several female students from the dormitory late Thursday night.
Left-leaning Pragatashil Chhtra Jote demanded removal of provost Sabita, also central committee member of the ruling Awami League-backed Juba Mahila League.
In a statement, 182 Dhaka University teachers of Bangladesh Nationalist Party-backed white panel condemned the midnight ousting of students from the hall.
Leaders of students’ platform Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad at a rally on the campus said that ‘forcible ousting of female students from the hall dead in the night never happened on the campus. They termed the incident ‘disgusting.’
At the rally at Anti-Violence Raju Memorial Sculpture, they also said that protesting students continued to get ‘death threats’ from vested interests and university authorities were ‘failing’ to ensure their students’ security.
‘Students want resignation of the provost,’ platform joint convener Nurul Haque Nur told the rally, following a procession organised protesting against ousting of female students.
Another joint convener Rashed Khan said that the provost created ‘disgraceful’ example by ousting female students at middle of the night.
Nurul alleged that Sufia Kamal hall authorities have ousted at least eight female students between Thursday afternoon and late night for joining protests.
‘We came to know that hall authorities made a list of 20 students to oust them,’ he said.
They alleged that protesting students were facing different kind of threats and harassment at different male and female dormitories of the university.
At least four female students were ousted from Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall on Thursday night and early Friday allegedly for ‘spreading rumours on Facebook’ before April 11-protests against hall unit Bangladesh Chhatra League president Iffat Jahan Esha.
Before, the rally, students gathered at Raju memorial sculpture at about 4:00pm started chanting slogans against the ousting of female students.
The protesters brought out a procession from Raju memorial sculpture at about 4:45pm. The procession paraded Shahbagh and TSC and in front of AF Rahman Hall areas before ending on the premises
of Raju memorial sculpture.
A number of protesters alleged that they needed to shift their protest venue to Raju memorial sculpture from in front of central library, as ruling Awami League-backed student organisation Bangladesh Chhatra League Dhaka University unit president Abid Al Hasan and general secretary Motahar Hossain Prince and their followers took position in central library area since 3:00pm.
Motahar, however, said that they went to the library for study.
Left-leaning Bangladesh Chhatra Union brought out a torch procession on the campus protesting at the ousting female students from the hall.
Four Ruqayyah Hall students protested ousting of their fellows from Sufia Kamal hall showing placards when Dhaka University vice-chancellor Md Akhtaruzzaman came to their hall in the evening for a ‘Rag day’ programme.
Akhtaruzzaman told New Age on Friday that was completely a rumour that some students were forced out of Kabi Sufia Kamal Hall.
‘Hall authorities handed three students over to their guardians for their alleged involvement in spreading rumour about the hall through fake Facebook accounts,’ he said.
Asked why the students were ousted from the dead in the night, he said that hall authorities contacted local guardians of the students well before they were handed over and local guardians were late.
In another development, Chhatra League on early Friday ousted AF Rahman hall resident student Yasin Arafat for joining sit-in in front of Sufia Kamal hall on Thursday when authorities were ousting female students.
Witnesses said that AF Rahman Hall unit Chhatra League president Hafizur Rahman and general secretary Mahmudul Hasan barred Yasin from entering the hall at about 4:00am and forced him to leave the hall.
Mahmudul Hasan, however, said he did not oust anyone. ‘I do not know anyone named Yasin Arafat,’ he said.
Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad took to the street on April 8 and postponed the protests on April 12 until publication of a gazette notification on prime minister’s April 11 announcement of scrapping of quota system.
White Panel teachers expressed deep concern over the ousting of female students from hall at the middle of night, in a
statement signed by its convener Akhter Hossain Khan.
‘If the news is correct, it is unfortunate and painful,’ said the statement, adding all students were like children to teachers.
Students will be punished if they do any wrong but investigation before providing anyone punishment should be impartial, transparent, it added.
Pragatashil Chhatra Jote leaders in a statement said that ousting students from hall was an outcome of Dhaka University administration’s ‘autocratic attitude’.
Provost barbarically repressed students who she ought to provide security. Provost should be removed for her shameless and unjust attitude, said the statement.
New Age Rajshahi University correspondent reported that quota reform protesters alleged that Chhatra League leaders and activists barred them from holding demonstration in protest against the ousting of students from Sufia Kamal hall.
Chhatra League RU unit general secretary Faisal Ahmed Runu, said that they asked the protesting students not to hold any programme on the campus as prime minister Sheikh Hasina assured that there would be no quota in government jobs.
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