Ultimatum for ban on student politics issued, demand for VC’s resignation gets louder
The protesting students of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) on Wednesday issued an ultimatum for a ban on student politics on the campus hours after some leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) brutally killed one of their mates, fuelling massive protests countrywide.
The protesters gave the ultimatum to the authorities concerned while staging protests on the BUET campus against the gruesome murder of their fellow Abrar Fahad.Abrar, a student of EEE department, was beaten to death at his dormitory early Monday over a Facebook status, bursting students into protests on other campuses as well.
The demonstrators placed a 10-point demand afresh, including a ban on student politics, capital punishment and expulsion of Abrar’s killers.
If the demands aren’t met within the deadline, all academic activities at BUET will be suspended, the protesters threatened.
The BUET Alumni Association demanded resignation of Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Saiful Islam and a reshuffle in the administration.
Meanwhile, BUET Sher-e-Bangla Hall Provost Dr Md Zafar Iqbal Khan resigned from his post on Wednesday in the wake of the Abrar murder at the dormitory.
Earlier in the day, former and current students of EEE brought out a silent procession on the BUET campus in the morning in protest against the Abrar killing. President of the BUET Alumni Association Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury also announced a seven-point demand after a procession and a rally.They also demanded speedy trial of the killers and expulsion of the killers, the administration overhauling and the appointment of competent people.
Meanwhile, the protesters blockaded the BUET footbridge intersection for several hours. They also brought out a candle procession on the campus in memory of Abrar.
The BUET Teachers’ Association also demanded a ban on teachers and students’ politics on the campus. They also demanded resignation of the BUET VC.
President of the association Dr AKM Masud announced eight demands while addressing a demonstration programme, demanding justice for Abrar Fahad.
He said: “The vice-chancellor and the administration body failed to carry out their duties.”
“We have come to a decision for banning teachers’ politics at the university. Student politics should also be banned soon,” he added.
On Tuesday, several hundred BUET students came out of dormitories and gathered in front of its central cafeteria and placed their eight-point demands.
The protesters also said they would boycott the upcoming BUET admission examinations scheduled for October 14 and continue the protests until a charge sheet in the Abrar murder case is filed.
On Tuesday night, the BUET administration agreed to the eight-point demands placed by students protesting against Abrar’s murder.
However, the protesters said the university authorities will have to give the students a written statement stating that their demands will be met.
Students and teachers of several educational institutions, including the universities of Dhaka, Chittagong and Rajshahi, are continuing demonstrations on their campuses, demanding justice for Abrar.
On the Dhaka University campus, students, teachers and guardians brought out a procession with black flags, demanding justice for Abrar and safety of all students on the campus.
The protesters hold a demonstration in front of the Raju Memorial sculpture after parading the campus.
Many prominent teachers including Prof Asif Nazrul, Prof Tanzim Uddin Khan, economist Prof Anu Muhammad and Prof MM Akash spoke at the program. DUCSU Vice President Nurul Haque Nur was also present there.
Rajshahi University: Students of Rajshahi University protested against the Abrar killing by staging a demonstration in front of the central library on Wednesday.
Rajshahi University of Science and Technology (RUET) students also brought out a procession from in front of the main gate in Talaimari area.
Chittagong University: Female students brought out a procession and formed a human chain in front of the Shaheed Minar on the campus, demanding capital punishment for Abrar’s killers.
Jagannath University (JnU): Students and teachers formed a human chain around 12noon, demanding capital punishment of Abrar’s killers.
Jahangirnagar University (JU): JU students have also been protesting against the murder of Abrar.
Abrar’s father Barkat Ullah filed a murder case against 19 people with Chawkbazar police station in the capital on Monday.
Later, BCL expelled 11 of its members permanently from the organization for their involvement in Abrar’s murder.