The tragic death of Dhaka University (DU) student Hafizur Rahman has once again brought to light the picture of how drugs have swallowed the campus of the country’s premier university.
Hafizur, a student of the university’s Information Science and Library Management department, allegedly killed himself after taking a deadly drug on the campus on May 15, according to police.Students of the university said if the authorities do not take strict action against drugs immediately, more unpleasant incidents will take place in the future.
According to students, one of the major reasons behind students becoming addicted to drugs is the easy availability of narcotics on the campus and in its surrounding areas. Different types of drugs are available on the campus.
According to sources, there are some drug dens on the campus where drug-taking goes on unabated. These places include Teacher-Student Centre (TSC), Suhrawardy Udyan, Curzon Hall, DU Swimming Pool, Central Shaheed Minar, Fuller Road, Plassey and Mohsin Hall playground.
As soon as night falls, these areas turn into safe havens for drug peddlers and addicts.
Students and visitors said they feel embarrassed while visiting these areas at night.
Besides, students said, when the university was open, drug addicted students used to take drugs on the rooftops of residential halls.They alleged that the negligence of the DU authorities is responsible for this situation.
As they do not take strict action against the drug menace, it is increasing day by day on the campus like a pandemic.
"The main thing is that the university authorities are good for nothing. Had they done their duty properly, no one would have dared to bring drugs on the campus. Action must be taken before any other unpleasant incident takes place," said Ahmed Hosain Jony, a student of the university. Abdullah Hil Baki, another student of the university, said, "If the DU authorities want, it’s possible to close down the drug dens on the campus.”
“The authorities might have not dared to take action as those who control these areas are very powerful. As long as this practice is not stopped, everyone should be ready for any bigger unpleasant incident in the future. The drug dens should completely be uprooted from DU," he said.
Besides, the students urged the university authorities to give more emphasis on counselling to keep students away from drugs.
"It’s very important to pay special attention to students’ mental health. Arranging batch-based counselling in departments every week is likely to yield better results. Each department can appoint a permanent psychologist. Counselling is crucial in a student's life," said a student named Tonmoy Das.
Besides, some other students demanded that dope test be introduced in the university.
Contacted, DU Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani said, "We’re always in a strict position against drugs. So far, we’ve arrested many drug addicts and dealers and handed them over to police. We’re always careful about the matter."
"We’re conducting drives in various places. We need proper cooperation and active participation of our current and former students to this end," he said, adding that students should quickly notify them if someone tries to sell or take drugs anywhere on the campus.