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Begum Rokeya University a safe haven for militants

  • Published at 02:07 pm April 18th, 2018
  • Last updated at 09:16 pm April 18th, 2018
Begum Rokeya University a safe haven for militants
Students of Rangpur Begum Rokeya University are engaging in militant activities due to the irresponsible attitude of the authorities, according to students and guardians. Allegedly, university authorities do not take any measures to see whether there is any patron of militants on campus. Three students remain missing in the last three years—one of them is a death row convict in the murder case of Japanese national, Hoshi Kunio. A few days ago, police arrested a student named Sadia Afroz Meena on charges of militant links. Apart from this, at least 10 students are under close observation, said intelligence sources. In 2016, following the militant attacks at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka and Sholakia Eid congregation in Kishoreganj, the government ordered the authorities to notify it if any student is absent or remains missing more than 10 days. Following the order, university registrar Ibrahim Kabir asked heads of 21 departments to submit reports on missing and absent students, but only 10 departments complied. Currently the university authorities have no data on the total number of missing students. Even after the allegation of militant links against several students, the authorities have not formed any committee to investigate the matter. Sources at the university said such allegations were first raised in 2015 against statistics department student Ahsan Ullah Ansari Biplob. He is one of the main accused in the murder of Hoshi Kunio. Biplob went missing in October 2015, but the university authorities were indifferent to the matter. Intelligence sources said Biplob was on campus even after the killing of the Japanese national. He went into hiding after the launch of a police raid. In February last year, the court handed him a death sentence in the murder case verdict. But he is still a fugitive. A political science department student, who is, according to intelligence sources, a death squad member of a militant outfit, remains missing since April 10, 2016. Police could not yet trace Motiar Rahman, a student of the women and gender studies department, who is missing since January 2016. Meena, a final year student of the accounting and information system department, who was arrested from Lalmonirhat on charges of militant links, is now on remand. A university official said Meena was arrested following the statement of Nabila, arrested for alleged militant activities. Nabila is a close associate of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (New JMB) leader, Tamim Chowdhury. The Rokeya University authorities only suspended the students. They took no further measures against others, keeping law enforcement in the dark about the exact number of students who have militant links. On April 11, there was a rally on curbing militant activities and controlling drugs on campus, with Inspector General of Police (IGP) Javed Patwari, as the chief guest. Speakers at the rally called on the university authorities to work more on stepping up monitoring of students who have militant links. An intelligence official said they are closely monitoring the activities of a number of students and others. They are also trying to learn who is a patron to these students. Registrar Ibrahim Kabir said the university authorities have adopted a zero tolerance policy on militants and have increased surveillance. “If we find any allegation against any student, we will inform law enforcement of it,” he said.