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Dhaka Tribune

Viqarunnisa students call off protests after school accepts demands

The students have been pushing the school authorities to meet their six-point charter of demands

Update : 06 Dec 2018, 02:10 PM

The agitating students of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College have called off their protests demanding justice for Aritry Adhikary, who committed suicide after being harshly rebuked in front of her parents by teachers.

Their decision came on Thursday afternoon after the institution’s teachers accepted their six-point charter of demands.

The students also agreed to attend classes and examinations from the next school day.

The understanding was reached during a one-and-a-half-hour-long meeting between both parties earlier in the day.

Anushka Roy and Adhara Ayndrila, who represented the protesting students at the meeting, told reporters about the development afterwards in front of the school in the city’s Bailey Road.

They said that the school agreed to meet four of their demands immediately and could not do anything about the other two as they were legal matters.

Meanwhile, a faction of students was also seen demonstrating in front of the school demanding immediate release of Hasna Hena, the class teacher of ninth grader Aritry.

Hasna was arrested from Dhaka’s Uttara area on Wednesday night.

Earlier on Thursday, students had resumed their demonstrations for the third consecutive day, threatening to boycott classes and examinations until their demands were met.

Students of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College seek justice for a fellow student who committed suicide
Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

They also sent a letter to the Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid to press home their six-point demand. The demands are as follows:

1. Written resignation letters of the acting principal and the accused teachers and to make sure that they are put on trial under section 305, 306 and in accordance with the law

2. Make sure that weak students get special attention and no teacher can physically or mentally torture any one of them

3. The school authority and teachers have to stop threatening students with transfer certificate (TC) for silly matters, and in place of that detention can be given

4. A counselling system with the help of a psychologist for helping those going through mental afflictions

5. All members of the governing body must resign

6. The acting principal and the management of the school have to apologize to the Aritry’s parents in front of everyone for insulting them

Viqarunnisa students had gathered for protests on Tuesday, a day after Aritry took her life at her Shantinagar residence.

The 15-year-old and her parents were insulted by the teachersof the school on Monday, after she was reportedly caught cheating during an exam on Sundayusing a mobile phone.

The protesters gathered in front of the school’s main gate, on Thursday morning; they insisted that three of their demands be implemented immediately. 

Meanwhile, the governing body chairman Golam Ashraf Talukder has already offered unconditional apologies to Aritry’s family.

He said: “About the resignation of the governing body, there needs to be a meeting which will be called by member secretary, the acting principal, but she was suspended.

“We will appoint a temporary member secretary to hold the meeting. For a greater good of the institution even I am ready to resign.”

The Viqarunnisa governing body sacked acting principal Nazneen Ferdous, morning shift in-charge Zinnat Ara, and grade nine class teacher Hasna Hena for allegedly driving Aritry to kill herself.

What made Aritry commit suicide?

The body of the 15-year-old was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her room, with the door locked from inside, at her Shantinagar home.

Her family claimed she had taken her life after the teachers of the school – including the acting principal – insulted her, and her parents, after she was reportedly caught cheating during an exam on Sunday.

On Tuesday night, a case was filed with Paltan police station against Viqarunnisa acting principal Nazneen Ferdous, morning shift in-charge Zinnat Ara, and Class 9 class teacher Hasna Hena over the girl's suicide by her father.

The deceased's father accused the trio of provoking his daughter to commit suicide.   

Later, the case was transferred to the Detective Branch (DB) of police, DB Joint Commissioner Mahbub Alam confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune.

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