Jahangirnagar Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Farzana Islam has condemned the attack by police on quota reform demonstrators from her campus.
“I have contacted Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, and university senate member Jahangir Kabir Nanak to express my deep disapproval of the matter. Why were tear shells, rubber bullets, and batons used to deal with something that could have been solved by a discussion? I want answers,” she said.
Protesting the police attack on the quota reform demonstrators, students of Jahangirnagar University blockaded the Dhaka-Aricha Highway on Monday morning.
During the day they had clashes with police between 12:30 and 2:30pm that left around 50 students injured. Around 3pm, the vice chancellor came out to meet the students on the highway outside the main gate, where she expressed solidarity with the protesters and pledged her support to the cause.
The VC also said: “When police and students have a confrontation, untoward incidents can occur. This recent incident has crossed all lines. I have asked the home minister to tell the police to back down. A lot of blood has been shed and a lot of students have been injured. We want a peaceful solution.
“A 56% quota is an insult to the nation. We are with you on this and we will protest alongside you if necessary,” she continued.
She also asked the students to refrain from turning the protest violent.
Pro-Vice Chancellor (Administration) Prof Md Amir Hossain, Teachers’ Association President Prof Nurul Alam, and General Secretary Prof Bashir Ahmed were present during the speech, among others.