SUST students withdraw movement

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Sylhet, Feb 12: The students of Shahlajal University of Science and Technology (SUST) withdrew their 27-day movement for resignation of the vice-chancellor (VC), upon assurance of Education Minister Dipu Moni.

The students made the announcement at a press briefing held at 7:00PM Saturday.

Earlier, the protesting students held a meeting among themselves at the ‘D’ Building of the university.

At the press briefing, student representative Mohaiminul Bashar said that the discussion with the education minister held Friday was fruitful as she assured them of meeting all their demands. He also said that Dipu Moni has assured them of discussing the issue of the VC’s resignation with the president.

Mohaiminul demanded starting academic activities immediately so that there was no session jam.

Meanwhile, Vice-Chancellor of SUST Farid Uddin Ahmed expressed his regret over the police action on protesting students on 16 January.

“I express my sincere sympathy to all of those, including students, teachers and staff injured in the unwanted incident on that day,” he said in a press statement.

The statement reads: “I express my sincere regret over the incident and I also express my gratitude to the teachers, students and staff who are trying to overcome the stalemate.”

The VC expressed regret a day after Education Minister Dipu Moni visited the university on Saturday.

Farid Uddin Ahmed thanked the deputy education minister, the government officials concerned, Awami League leaders and members of law enforcement agencies, media workers who played a responsible role in restoring normalcy on the campus.

The VC also urged all to play their role in restoring the normal academic atmosphere and normal activities on the campus.

On Friday, agitating students of SUST reiterated their demand for the resignation of Vice-Chancellor Farid Uddin at their meeting with Education Minister Dipu Moni.

Dipu Moni said the demand for the resignation of the VC will be placed before the President as he is the Chancellor of the university, holding the power to appoint and remove someone in the post of the VC.

The students raised an eight-point demand, during the three-hour meeting with the education minister at the Circuit House in Sylhet on Friday.

A three-member ministerial team, led by Education Minister Dipu Moni, reached Sylhet Friday morning to hold talks with the SUST protesting students.

The students resumed their protests on Wednesday after their demand for the removal of VC was not met. They are now calling for the resignation of the new proctor.

SUST Proctor Alamgir Kabir was relieved of his position on Thursday and replaced by Associate Professor Ishrat Ibne Ismail of the English department.

The protests began in mid-January. Over two dozen SUST students who went on fast unto death ended their strike on January 26. They broke the fast being persuaded by former SUST Prof Zafar Iqbal.

The students embarked on the hunger strike at the university campus on January 19, demanding the resignation of the VC over the police crackdown on their fellows.

The strike was launched after police swooped on the protesting students, charging batons and firing sound grenades and shotgun bullets. On the other hand, the police had filed a case against 300 unnamed protesting students.

The alleged attack was carried out to free the VC from confinement in the university’s IICT building, and it had left 40 people hurt, including teachers, students and cops.

Zafrin Ahmed, a provost of Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall, was at the centre of the initial unrest as she allegedly misbehaved with some students on January 13 when they met her with some complaints.

She later resigned from her post, citing health issues.