Monday, 23 May, 2022

Why police attack on students?

The students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet have started a movement with more than five hundred students of the university taking part, demanding the resignation of Vice Chancellor Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed. Earlier, the students clashed with the police in the wake of the protesters blocking the vice-chancellor, as the students demanded fulfilment of their three points by the authorities. Police used batons, sound grenades and tear gas to disperse the protesters. At least 50 people including police, teachers and students were injured. The students alleged that the police carried out the attack on the instructions of the vice chancellor. During this demonstration, authorities issued instructions to close the university and asked students to vacate the halls. Protests intensified after these instructions. The police have filed a case against more than three hundred students of the university! Behind this incident is the demand for resignation of the Provost and Assistant Provost of Begum Sirajunnesa Hall of the university, removal of all mismanagement of the hall to ensure a healthy and normal environment. The movement of several hundred students of the hall is demanding appointment of student friendly and responsible hall committee. And the main reason for the student movement is the mismanagement of the hall and the abuse and arbitrary behaviour of the provost.

As soon as the television screen or the magazine is opened, the nasty incidents against the students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology are coming up, one after another. Again and again, the question arises in our conscience as to what was the crime of those students which resulted in such an unhealthy incident!

The incident repeatedly made the conscientious nation think what was the demand of the students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology! Just as a child can express his wishes and reluctance to his parents, so too can university students express their desires, wishes and aspirations to their authorities - a university teacher or an administrative officer in charge of that sector. The responsibility of a teacher, is enlightening the students or educating them as an enlightened person for the good of the students, similarly also the responsibility of the students is to see the good and bad things and raise them to solve these problems. When students were beaten by the police, it took the form of an authoritarian violence at the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology.

The highest guardian of a university is the Vice Chancellor of that university. A Vice Chancellor has to keep his eyes and ears open for all time. If a person in a lower position makes a mistake, there is a person in a higher position to correct it. But in order for a person with the highest power or the highest position to take any action, he must verify the truth of everything and take action. It is the responsibility and duty of the university to meet the needs of the students. It is very normal for students to have demands from the university. It is real that the people in charge should be informed about their demands, benefits and disadvantages and understand their rights. Because a university student is much more aware of his rights. Because he has to think about others. If a student of a university cannot protest against injustice, cannot understand his own rights, then the understanding of students will be that they do not have right to express their condition. If a student of one of the highest educational institutions of the country cannot challenge injustice, then they will be subject to abuse of power and the next generation will be speech impaired. University students have to consider all these.

One thing to think about in general is when do people choose a difficult situation or a crooked path? When do all the students in a hall join the movement? When do they unite for the realisation of their rights? The students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, after a long period of silence, started a movement to assert their rights. They came together in a peaceful human chain to inform the administration about their problems. But incidentally for doing that, the university students have been humiliated by the police. The police did not come inside the university on their own. They did not attack the students at will. At the behest of the authority they attacked the students! I can't find the answer to the question why the university soil got wet with the blood of the students. According to the report, the student movement started due to mismanagement of the hall and abusive and arbitrary behaviour of the provost.

The university administration cannot call the allegations of mismanagement of the university hall as false or fabricated. Even if the students conspired to slander the provost, it was the duty of the university administration and the vice chancellor to conduct a proper investigation and stand up for justice in this regard. It is true that the students blocked the vice chancellor. But the students have blocked it to assert their rights and to cure the hall mismanagement. For justice. The Vice Chancellor could have easily solved this if he had wanted to. Instead, such an attack on students by pushing is not acceptable in any way. The University students used to be beaten by the police before our independence. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was always by the side of the students during the attacks on the students during the Pakistani period. But today, even in an autonomous university, students have been attacked by the police, which is a very disgusting incident. Those involved in such barbaric attacks on the university students must be brought under the law and appropriate punishment must be meted out. Such attacks on students are totally unacceptable.


Imran Hossain, a student of the Bangla Department, Jagannath University