Sack V-C, SUST students urge President

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Dhaka, Jan 18: The protesting students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) have written an open letter to President Abdul Hamid, demanding the immediate removal of the vice-chancellor.

A student read out the open letter outside the residence of SUST Vice-Chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed on Monday morning. The President is the Chancellor of the university.

In their letter, the students alleged that the police charged batons and even fired rubber bullets to disperse the protesting students from near the IICT building on Monday at the behest of the university authorities.

As many as 40 students were injured in the police action, the letter said.

“It is an unprecedented that the students were assaulted by the police at the behest of the university administration, which is against the Constitution. Besides, the students don’t feel safe on the campus under the jurisdiction of the V-C,” it said.

They also urged the President to order the withdrawal of the additional police force from the campus. Besides, the students of SUST declared the V-C as ‘persona no grata’ on the university campus.

In their letter, the students also demanded the direct intervention of the President and installation of “an honest V-C” immediately after ensuring the resignation of the incumbent V-C.

Meanwhile, the students continued with their protest for the six consecutive day on Tuesday and rejected the notice of shutting down the university for an indefinite period and direction to leave the halls.

Currently the students are staying on the campus and locked the hall gates from inside.

SUST was to close, following the clash on the campus between the cops and the protesting students on Sunday. Its students were asked to leave the dormitories by 12pm on Monday.

Provost of Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall, Zafrin Ahmed is at the centre of the trouble, having reportedly misbehaved with some students. She has resigned from her post, citing health issues.

Dr Nazia Chowdhury of the Physics department has been appointed in her place, said the SUST V-C.

Removal of Zafrin as the provost of the residential hall for female students was one of the principal demands of the students protesting on the campus.

Probe body formed

The SUST authority on Sunday formed an eight-member probe body in connection with the ongoing protest and to take stock of the overall situation in the university.

The committee was formed on Sunday night during an emergency syndicate meeting, making Professor Dr Md Rashed Talukder, the dean of the Physical Sciences faculty, its head, and Md Isfaqul Hossain, the registrar, its member secretary.

All other faculty deans and the president of the Teacher’s Association of SUST were made members of the probe body.