The Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology Teachers Association on Thursday demanded removal of the university’s vice-chancellor as protests continued on campuses across the country for the fourth day for justice for the murder of Abrar Fahad.
BUET student Abrar was reportedly tortured to death by leaders of the university unit of ruling Awami League-backed student organisation Chhatra League over his Facebook comments against the recently concluded Dhaka-New Delhi agreements that he said favoured India.
The BUET teachers association at an emergency general meeting resolved that VC Saiful Islam did have no moral ground any more to hold his office.
The meeting resolution said that the vice-chancellor’s persistent indifference and failure to ensure safety at the student dormitories and the authorities’ inaction in taking disciplinary measures against those who tortured students encouraged the assailants to kill Abrar.
‘We call upon the VC to resign,’ said association president AKM Masud, demanding state intervention if he did not step down voluntarily.
He announced the association decisions at a news briefing on the BUET campus where students continued their raging protests over the murder of Abrar, a second-year electrical and electronic engineering student, at his dormitory on Monday early hours.
The association also resolved that no BUET teacher could be involved in any form of politics, direct or indirect, of any political party and supported the students’ demand for banning political party-affiliated student politics.
The BUET students on the fourth consecutive day of their agitation seeking justice for Abrar’s family and fulfilment of their 10-point demand brought out processions and staged a sit-in screaming insults at the assailants of Abrar, the thuggish student politics and the university administration.
The students are demanding, among others, capital punishment to the killers, rustication of all students involved in the murder and a complete ban on political party-affiliated student politics on the campus by October 15.
At BUET’s Shaheed Minar students staged a sit-in from the morning till the evening. They carried banners with various slogans and demands including justice for Abrar’s fmly and safe academic environment.
They tirelessly shouted slogans in chorus insulting the assailants, student politics and the university authorities, and demanding rustication of the assailants.
The students also paraded the streets on the BUET campus chanting slogans.
They affirmed that they would not return to their classes until their demands were met.
The students urged the VC to come before them by 2:00pm today and clarify his inaction in regards to the developments following Abrar’s murder or else, they said, they would lock down all the buildings on the campus.
They also reacted to prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s Wednesday allegation that the students delayed lawmen for hours in collecting the CC TV footage containing murder evidence.
They said that they did never hinder the lawmen rather they just wanted that a copy of the footage must be at their disposal.
‘The footage was in the hands of the police from the very beginning. We just negotiated for having a copy in our hands,’ said a protester using a loudspeaker.
They also demanded holding the trial at a Speedy Trial Tribunal, an end to the ‘ragging culture’ on the campus and bearing all the trial-related costs for the case by the BUET.
The students repeated their decision on the suspension of all academic activities, including examinations and the October 14 admission tests until the murder case charge sheet was submitted.
The protesters insisted that the university authorities would have to give them a written statement that their demands would be met.
Against this backdrop, the Dhaka University authorities urged its students to inform the hall provosts and university proctor if there was any information about terror activities, drug addicts and drug peddlers in the halls.
The DU decided that no student would be allowed in the halls 15 days after their master’s examinations and that the university authorities would allot seats to students based on merit and no student would be allowed to reside or stay in the student dormitories without permission from the administration.
DU students brought out a protest rally, led by Dhaka University Central Students Union vice-president Nurul Huq Nur, which paraded university campus streets.
The Jagannath University authorities slapped ban on the outsiders entering the campus without permission from the authorities..
Rajshahi University teachers and students organised separate demonstrations on the campus to press for justice to Abrar’s family.
Over 50 teachers of the university formed a human chain by the university senate building under the banner of ‘Nationalist Teachers’ Forum’ to press home their demands with regards to Abrar’s murder.
The teachers also urged the authorities to free all the campus from atrocities and anarchy.
RU agitating students also held a mass-signature programme on the campus demanding capital punishment to the killers of Abrar.
Students of Jahangirnagar University, Khulna University, Chittagong University, Islamic University and other universities also continued their protests for the fourth consecutive day on their respective campuses demanding justice to Abrar’s family.
The Chhatra League brought out separate processions on the Dhaka University and Chittagong University campuses demanding capital punishment to the killers of Abrar.
Education minister Dipu Moni said that she was deeply saddened, agitated and ashamed of the murder.
Talking to journalists after attending a seminar at the International Mother Language Institute in the capital, she said that incidents like this were never acceptable and hoped that justice would be ensured.
The Dhaka University provost committee in a meeting condemned the murder and demanded exemplary punishment to the killers.
The National Human Rights Commission demanded the trial of Abrar’s killers at the earliest and exemplary punishment to the killers.
The Gana Samhati at a protest in front of the National Press Club in the afternoon demanded annulment of what it said the anti-country deals with India and resisting the politics that led to killing of Abrar.
Rights organisation Nari Pakkha expressed deep concern over the murder of Abrar.
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