SUST students ‘fall sick’ on 2nd day of hunger strike; one hospitalized

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Sylhet, Jan 20: Twenty-four students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), who went on a hunger strike unto death on Wednesday demanding their Vice-Chancellor’s resignation, reportedly fell sick on Thursday with one of them being hospitalised.

Among them, Kajal Das was taken to a hospital in Sylhet city around 1:30 pm as he fell seriously sick.

The agitating students vowed not to break their fast until the VC steps down.

Besides, a delegation of teachers came to the students around 8:45 pm on Wednesday and requested them to break their fast.

Prof Anwarul Islam, a spokesperson of the delegation, said, “The students didn’t respond to our request, they gave us some conditions and asked us whether we support their ongoing movement.”

“We just came to the students to give some time to identify those involved in the incident. But the students remained stuck to their demand saying that the attack was carried out at the VC’s behest. We also told them that we want a high-profile probe committee to look into the incident but the students were inconvincible,” he said.

Failing to break their fast, the teachers left the place.

Earlier, the 24 students went on a hunger strike unto death around 3 pm in front of the residence of the VC on Wednesday demanding the VC’s resignation.

The agitated students also made an effigy of VC Farid Uddin Ahmed and placed it in front of his residence. They also placed various placards there.

On Monday, the protesting students wrote 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. The President is the Chancellor of the university.

The students also rejected the notice of shutting down the university for an indefinite period and the 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 was at the centre of the trouble, having reportedly misbehaved with some students. She has already 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.

The 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.