Eminent writer Md Zafar Iqbal has condemned the arrest of five alumni of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) for allegedly sending money to the protesting students at the varsity.
"I got Tk 10,000 for a write-up on the occasion of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary. I will give you the money. Now let the police arrest me," he told the protesting SUST students on the university campus in Sylhet early on Wednesday.
After listening to the protesting students, Prof Zafar, who came to the university with his wife, urged them to break their fast.
"Life is so precious. Why should you want to sacrifice your life for one person? It’s just not acceptable. You have promised me before the media to break your fast.”
On the five former students of SUST, Prof Zafar, said, “Already police have filed a case against them and they will be produced in a court. I have got an assurance that they will be out after getting bail.”
A team of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Tuesday arrested the five former students for "sending money to the protesting students at the university".
An FIR was lodged against them on Tuesday night at the Jalalabad police station, said Nazmul Huda Khan, the officer-in-charge.
The students embarked on fast-unto-death on the university campus on January 19, demanding the resignation of SUST Vice-Chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed over police crackdown on their fellows.
The hunger strike was launched on January 19 by 24 students and later one of them had to leave due to a family obligation. Three days later, three more students joined their fellows in the hunger strike.
The strike was launched after police swooped on the protesting students, charging batons and firing sound grenades and shotgun bullets.
The alleged attack was carried out to free the V-C 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, a dorm for females, 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.
Provost Zafrin's removal was one of the initial demands of the students protesting on the campus. But it has now spread to the general students as well.