Rajshahi University teachers, students rally against torture

2 suspended, probe body formed

RU Correspondent | Published: 01:08, Nov 18,2019


Teachers and students of Rajshahi University on Sunday continued demonstration on the campus protesting against torturing a student confining him in a room at Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Hall by two activists Bangladesh Chhatra League early Saturday.

Chhatra League activists Rakibul Islam Asif and Humayun Kabir Nahid severely beat up finance department third year student Sohrab Mia in Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Hall for half an hour over a trifling matter early Saturday. None of them could be arrested till filing of the report on Sunday afternoon, said police.

Sohrab, who received fractures in his left arm and was given at least fifteen stitches in the head at it was bleeding profusely, was undergoing at Rajshahi Medical Collage Hospital.

Quoting doctors, Sohrab’s friend Altaf Hossain told New Age that Altaf’s condition improved but he was still not out of danger.

More than 100 teachers and students formed a human chain in front of Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Senate Building under the banner of ‘Nipiran Birodhi Chhatra Shikkhak Oikya’.

Teachers at the demonstration said after the gruesome killing of Bangladesh University of Science and Technology student Abrar Fahad they thought that there would be no such incident in any university.

‘After Abrar murder, we became hopeful and thought the situation at the halls of residence at public universities would be improved. But, we are frustrated. Nothing changed in the residential halls. It remained the same,’ said Saleh Hasan Naqib, a professor of physics.

‘Torturing students physically and mentally, grabbing seats and ousting the allottees by the ruling party activists are still happening at residential halls of the universities. Neither the hall administration nor the university authority are seen to take steps to prevent such incidents’, he said.

Iftikharul Alam Masud, a professor of Arabic, said both the university and hall authorities could not avoid the responsibility of Saturday’s incident.

Imtaiz Ahmed, a professor of botany, harshly criticised the law enforcers for their role at the halls.

‘When Sohrab was being beaten, the police was standing idle at the hall entrance. The student rushed to the room where he was beaten up, but the law enforcers made no move’, he alleged.

The teachers also placed a nine-point charter of demands those include — expelling the students who beaten up Sohrab, taking action against the Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Hall administration for their negligence, bearing full cost of Sohrab’s treatment by the university authority, filling case in case of such incidents, bringing every halls of residence under close-circuit camera surveillance, ousting non-residential students from halls, and ensuring overall security of the students at halls and on the campus.

The teachers also threatened to go for a continuous movement if their demands were not met.

Meanwhile, several hundred students of finance department, who postponed their demonstration till 10:00am on Saturday, staged a sit-in front of the university administrative building at 12:00noon.

Later, they withdrew their sit-in at 1:00pm after proctor Lutfor Rahman announced that the university suspended Asif and Nahid, who tortured Sohrab, and would take necessary steps soon to expel them from the university.

At the assurance, the students postponed their demonstration till Sunday.

The university authority also formed a five-member probe body headed by business faculty dean Professor Humayun Kabir to investigate the incident. The other members were proctor Lutfor Rahman, syndicate member Abdullah Al Mamun, Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Hall provost Zukar Nayeen, and assistant proctor Hasanur Rahman.

Hafizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Motihar Police Station, told New Age Sohrab filed an attempt to murder case against Rakibul Islam Asif, Humayun Kabir Nahid, and Akimul Islam Rifat, all students of 2015-2016 session at the university.

‘We have arrested Rifat and trying to arrest the other two,’ he added.

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