Jahangirnagar University students on Monday protested against inclusion of two provisions in the university’s disciplinary ordinance.
According to the new provisions, students will face fine up to Tk 5000, temporary suspension and even rustication if anyone of them will be found spreading false information about the university in print, electronic or online media, or sending offensive SMS, email or message to any teacher, officer or student.
Different political and cultural student organisations, including Bangladesh Chhatra League, Bangladesh Students’ Union, Jahangirnagar Sangskritik Jote, Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad and JU Press Club, issued separate statements condemning the step.
All of the organisations expressed their fear that the university administration enacted the provisions to silent the voices against rampant corruption and misconduct.
They also demanded repeal of the sections of the Disciplinary Ordinance for the Students of Jahangirnagar University 2018 approved by the university syndicate on April 5.
The students reacted 45 days after its enactment as they learned about it through a social media post on Monday.
JU Journalists’ Association general secretary Hasan Al Mahmud, said, ‘We are shocked at learning the enactment of such repressive sections which might appear as a barrier to the freedom of expression and journalism as well.’
Section 5(10) of the ordinance stipulates that no student should publish any false information or distorted news about the university on any local, national and international print and electronic media or in social media.
Section 5(17) stipulates that no student should send any offensive message through telephone, mobile or internet to any university teacher, officer or student.
‘The university authorities might term an authentic report as false and harass a student,’ said JU anthropology department professor Mirza Taslima Sultana.
JU acting registrar Rahima Kaniz said that the Disciplinary Ordinance for the Students of Jahangirnagar University 2018 was formulated in accordance with the Section of 38 of Jahangirnagar University Act 1973.
She refused to say anything else on it as it was approved by the university syndicate.
JU pro-vice-chancellor Amir Hussain said, ‘We didn’t have enough time to scrutinise the ordinance for the orientation programme of new batch. If any section of the ordinance conflicts with the university act, it will be amended after discussion.’
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