Rabindra University has temporarily suspended an associate professor of the Cultural Heritage and Bangladesh Studies Department on charges of forcibly cutting the hair of students.
The decision to suspend Farhana Yeasmin Baten, the accused teacher, was made in a syndicate meeting led by acting Vice-Chancellor Md Abdul Latif on Thursday night, according to a statement issued by the university.
A five-member panel formed to investigate the incident, however, will continue its work. A final decision on Farhana’s suspension will be made after the panel submits its report.
“We received video footage from a CCTV camera. It proves the incident of cutting off the hair of some students with scissors by the teacher,” said Laila Ferdous Himel, chairman of the Rabindra Studies Department and head of the probe committee.
Students demanded permanent removal of the teacher. Besides, they also 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.
They are still protesting in favour of their demands cordoning the administrative building on the campus where the acting vice-chancellor and several officials are blocked.
At least five of the 14 students taking part in a hunger strike since Wednesday have been admitted to a local clinic after they fell ill, said Omar Faruk Dolphin, a third-year student of the university.
Nazmul Hasan Tuhin, one of the 14 students, consumed 35 sleeping peels on Monday as the teacher insulted and threatened to expel him for posting a status on social media describing the incident.
The incident sparked agitation among students. They boycotted the exam and staged a protest on the university campus.
The university authority formed a panel on Tuesday to investigate the incident.
In the wake of the student protest, Farhana had resigned from the posts of the assistant proctor, member of the proctorial body and chairperson of the Department of History, Culture and Bangladesh Studies on Tuesday night.