Dhaka, Feb 04: The authorities of Jahangirnagar University (JU) on Sunday suspended three current students and withheld certificates of six present and former students over raping a woman by a leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League and his associates on JU campus by keeping her husband confined Saturday night.
The JU authorities took the decision amid protests by the teachers, students and rights organisations on the campus and elsewhere in the country.
The woman was allegedly raped by BCL JU unit international affairs secretary Mustafizur Rahman, who is also a former student of the university, and his associates, according to the police.
‘We, in an emergency syndicate meeting, have decided to suspend three current students of the university – Sagar, Sabbir and Murad and withhold the certificates of total six former and present students involved in the incident,’ said JU vice chancellor Nurul Alam.
He said that certificates of former students including Mustafizur, Hasan and Shah Poran were withheld for their alleged involvement in the heinous crime on the campus.
He said that they were also declared unwanted on the campus.
The university authorities also formed a three-member committee to investigate into the incident.
Ashlia police said that they arrested four – prime accused and BCL leader Mustafizur Rahman and his three associates Sagar, Sabbir, and Hasan – in the case filed over the rape incident with the police station.
Teachers and students of the university staged day-long protests including boycotting classes demanding strict actions including lodging of case against the perpetrators by the university administration, and ousting non-student BCL men from residential halls.
Different organisations expressed concern and protested at the incident.
BCL central committee on Sunday permanently expelled the prime accused Mustafizur Rahman for his involvement in the incident.
As soon as the news of the rape spread, teachers and students of the university staged a sit-in in front of the dormitory at about 4:00am on Sunday.
Over 300 teachers, students, and senators locked the administrative building of the university in the morning demanding to lodge a case against the perpetrators by the university administration, withholding their certificates, ousting non-students BCL leaders and activists from halls and resignation of the hall provost for allowing non-student BCL men to stay at the hall.
Students of several departments including Bengali, philosophy, archaeology boycotted their classes and examination protesting at ‘helping’ the accused to flee and ‘sheltering’ them by the administration.
Professor Rayhan Rhyne of philosophy department said, ‘this incident is a result of providing the BCL men indemnity by the administration.’
‘The long-established culture of impunity has made the BCL men more furious. It is the liability of the university administration as they have given sheltering to a non-student BCL men at the dormitory,’ convener of JU unit Bangladesh Chhatra Union Alif Mahmud said.
The protesters also brought out a torch procession in the evening.
JU Teachers Association, pro-Awami League teachers’ body Bangabandhu Shikkhak Parishad, pro-BNP teachers’ body Shikkhak Oikyo Parishad expressed concern and protested the incident in separate press releases.
Besides, JU unit BCL staged a human chain on the campus at noon demanding exemplary punishment to the accused.
A section of Dhaka University students and different students organisations including Democratic Students Force, Bangladesh Chhatra Odhikar Parishad, Bangladesh Students’ Union staged demonstration separately on Sunday to protest at the incident on JU campus.
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad in a statement issued on Sunday demanded punitive action against the perpetrators.
Repeated incidents of torture on students by leaders and activists of the BCL are not new in the country, the number and severity of these tortures have increased in recent years in the major public universities.