Monday, 25 October, 2021

Forced Haircut at Rabindra University

Hunger strike continues; 4 students fall sick

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 1 October, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Four of the 11 Rabindra University students who went on a fast unto death on the campus demanding termination of a teacher for forcefully cutting hair of 14 first-year students have fallen sick as their strike passed the second day on Thursday.

Those fell sick are Habib, Zahid, Sirat and Zakaria of the Department of Cultural Heritage and Bangladesh Studies. Of them, Habib and Zakaria have been admitted to Shahjadpur Health Complex while others are being given first aid.

The protesting students vowed to continue the hunger strike until their demands are met.

Students alleged that Farhana Yasmin Baten, a teacher of the Department of History, Culture and Bangladesh Studies of the university situated in Sirajganj’s Shahjadpur, cut off the hair of 14 examinees with scissors while they were entering a classroom to sit for their final exam last Sunday.

Two teachers of the same department were present there but they did not say anything.

According to the students, Farhana called Nazmul Hasan Tuhin, one of the 14 students, on Monday afternoon and insulted him for posting a status on social media describing everything. She also threatened to expel him.

The student felt humiliated and consumed 35 sleeping pills on the same day. He is now fighting for his life at Enayetpur Khwaja Yunus Ali Medical College Hospital.

The incident sparked agitation among students. They boycotted the exam and staged protests on the university campus.

Meanwhile, Farhana claimed that no such incident had taken place and the allegations against her were part of a conspiracy.

However, CCTV footage of the incident has gone viral where the accused teacher was seen standing in the classroom corridor with scissors in hand and stopping students with long hair to cut those short.

In the wake of the student protest, Farhana resigned from the proctorial body and posts of assistant proctor and chairperson of the Department of History, Culture and Bangladesh Studies on Tuesday night.

But the aggrieved students demanded her permanent expulsion. Besides, they demanded action against other teachers who were present at the scene, fresh exam routine and bearing the medical expenditure of the student who attempted suicide after the forced haircut.

The university authorities formed a five-member committee to investigate the incident.

Rowshan Alam, a member of the proctorial body who is now the acting proctor, said the syndicate will take decision after the probe committee submits its report.

Meanwhile, the High Court on Thursday issued a rule asking why the haircut of 14 students should not be declared illegal.

It also wanted to know why order should not be given to pay Tk 20 lakh to each student for the haircut.