Dhaka University authorities on Monday imposed restrictions on the movement of ‘outsiders’ on the campus and told the proctor’s office and hall administration, with the help of law enforcers, to ensure that none of any ‘extremist’ or banned organisations stayed on the campus.
This decision came at a provost committee meeting of the university, when the university vice-chancellor on Sunday likened the ongoing movement for quota reform in government jobs to the activities of international militant outfits such as Taliban, Al-Qaeda and al-Shabab.
In a press lease, the university came up with a number of decisions and instructions to students and the hall authorities to bring the situation under a ‘system’ as students along with teachers continued their non-violent protests amid arrests and attacks of leaders of Bangladesh General Students’ Rights Protection Council pressing for reducing the quota in government job to 10 per cent from the existing 56 per cent.
The press release also asked the students to refrain from spreading any ‘instigating speech’ or ‘rumours’, and warned female students who ‘disturbed’ others by chanting slogan by staging demonstration at their dormitories at night recently.
The United States embassy in Dhaka, meanwhile, on Monday expressed their solidarity with the demonstrators pressing for their rights in peaceful movement.
The embassy came up with this stance about 4:30pm on Monday hours after the decision of Dhaka University went viral on social media.
Rights group Ain O Salish Kendra in statement also demanded that the ‘torture and repression’ on the quota reform activists should be stopped immediately.
It also demanded that the government take action against those who attacked Tariqul Islam, joint convener of Rajshahi University unit of the Council, and ensure his better treatment.
The statement urged the government to take necessary legal action against those who assaulted female student Mariam Mannan Farah at Central Shaheed Minar on July 2.
The rights body expressed its deep concern over the attacks and repression on quota reformists as well as the ‘refusal’ of government medical college hospitals to provide treatment to the injured activists.
Convener of the reform movement Hasan Al Mamun said that at least 10 leaders and activists of the movement were arrested so far.
The arrested, including Rashed Khan, Tarikul Islam, Faruk Hassan, Moshiur Rahman, Jashim Uddin were in custody in various criminal charges after they had held several meetings with the government official and political leadership in recent months.
But, none of the attackers were arrested so far.
The university authorities in the press release informed that the decisions of restricting movement of ‘outsiders’ came at a July 5 meeting of the university provosts committee.
The DU press release said that they would not allow any ‘outsiders’ to stay or roam around on the campus without prior permission from the authorities.
The release said if necessary, the university authorities might take help of the law enforcement agencies.
The meeting also decided that those who lost studentship of the university would
not be allowed to stay in the halls of residence and the non-students would be served notice to leave the halls soon.
The meeting also asked the hall authorities to remain alert to the presence of any outlawed organisation, extremist groups or anyone involved with spreading any ultra-ideals in the halls.
The meeting also formed a seven-member committee, headed by pro-vice-chancellor (administration) Muhammad Samad, to probe some untoward incidents on the campus centring quota reform movement.
International relations teacher Tanzimuddin Khan, who, among others, expressed their solidarity with demonstrating students, feared that such decisions would render teachers and students insecure as now the administration and ruling party’s student wing could easily choke the voice of dissents and suppress any movement labelling it ‘extremist’.
The pro-vice-chancellor (administration) Muhammad Samad, however, pushed aside such apprehensions.
Samad believed that the on-going quota reform movement was ‘highly politically instigated’ and ‘vested quarters trying to destabilise the campus in the name of quota reform movement’.
Dhaka University’s law department on Monday formed a human chain, demanding withdrawal of a case filed against their student Tarikul Islam and his immediate release.
Around 200 students of the department and Tarikul’s family took part in the human chain in front of law faculty building.
Bangladesh Chhara League men beat up Tarikul, among others, in front of DU central library on July 2 and later handed him over to police.
Later, he was shown arrested in the case filed on charge of vandalising DU VC residence on April 8.
Expressing solidarity with the demand, law department chairperson professor Naima Haque demanded her student Tarikul to be released.
Asif Nazrul, another teacher at the department, said Chhatra League attacked Tarikul and handed him over to the police for taking part in a logical protest.
‘He is being deprived of human rights though he is a student of law. He was shown arrested in an old case, which is totally irrelevant,’ he said in the road-side human chain.
He also demanded an end to the BCL attacks as well as torture of the police on the quota reformists at different places of the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Tarikul’s father Shafiqul Islam alleged that the case was filed against Tarikul just to harass him.
‘My son has not committed any crime. He went to central library for studying but Chhatra League leaders picked him up from there and later handed over to the police,’ he said, adding ‘We were not informed about his detention. Please, release him and lift the case against him.’
One of Tarek’s classmate Fatema Tahsin said, ‘Tarek is our classmate and we would not sit for class and examination without him.’
Rajshahi University Journalist Association on the day condemned and protested against attacks on journalists at Jagannath University and Chittagong University by the leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League-backed student body Bangladesh Chhatra League on Sunday.
They also protested against the death threat by an expelled leader of BCL CU unit to Abdullah Rakib, CU correspondent of jagonews24.com, and demanded that the perpetrators be brought under justice.
Students demonstrating for the reform of the quota system came under repeated attacks by the ruling party students since June 30 when they tried to hold a press conference at Dhaka University.
As the students at Rajshahi and Chittagong protested following the day, they also came under similar attacks.
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