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SUST unrest: Education Minister’s talk with students end without decision

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 23rd January, 2022 11:44:27 AM
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SUST unrest: Education Minister’s talk with students end without decision

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The virtual meeting of Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni with the protesting students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) ended without a decision since the students refused to break their hunger strike in response to the minister's call.

Students told the minister that they wouldn't stop protests until the VC resigned.

The virtual meeting was held at 1:30am on Sunday at the IICT building on campus in presence of a delegation from the Bangladesh Awami League, led by its central Organising Secretary Shafiul Alam Chowdhury Nadel.

After the meeting, a spokesperson for the protesters told the press that the minister has requested that students submit their complaints in written form as soon as possible.

Another discussion could take place after 1pm today, sources said.

On Saturday, the minister held a meeting with a delegation of five teachers from SUST.

Last Wednesday, a total of 24 students started the fast-unto-death strike, demanding resignation of the VC. One protester left for his home as his father suffered from stroke. But the rest of the students are still on hunger strike.

Nazmul Hasan, a member of the medical team and general secretary of MAG Osmani Medical College Chhatra League, said that a total of 16 students have been taken to the hospital so far. All 23 students are not taking any kind of food or drink. They are not even willing to eat saline in their mouths. The condition of three of them is critical and the condition of one student named Nishat is very bad.

Students have been protesting since January 13 to realise their three-point demand, including resignation of Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall provost Zafrin Ahmed, after the provost allegedly misbehaved with a resident.

Three days after their three-point demands, including the resignation of a hall provost, were not met, the demonstrators confined the vice-chancellor at the MA Wazed Miah IICT building on Sunday.

To free the VC, police charged batons, fired sound grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the students at 5:30 pm on Sunday. Students reacted by throwing brick chips at them.

Following this, the authorities declared the university shut on the night and asked the students to vacate the residential halls. But the students defied the order and launched their one-point movement, demanding the VC’s resignation.

Students in Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University, Khulna University and Barishal University demonstrated in protest against the attacks on SUST students.