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Dhaka Tribune

DU bars protest processions against rape, sexual violence

Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) will coordinated Wednesday's event

Update : 27 Nov 2019, 12:56 AM

The Dhaka University (DU) authorities barred an alliance of around 20 women's rights organizations from holding processions inside the campus.

"We are against rape and sexual violence," – the alliance got permission from the authorities only to hold a rally at the Central Shaheed Minar premises on Wednesday.

Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) will coordinated on Wednesday's even.

Earlier on Monday, the women's platform held a symbolic hunger strike, coordinated by "We Can," alliance.

Shahana Huda Ranjana, media and communication co-ordinator of MJF told Dhaka Tribune: “One of our associates went to the vice-chancellor of Dhaka University some 10 days earlier and secured permission to hold rallies in particular." 

"Later, we added the procession as part of our protest events; and for that reason the associate went to DU Proctor Prof AKM Golam Rabbani to get permission," she said.

"The proctor, however, refused permission without the VC’s consent as we had taken authorization from the office of the VC in the first place," Shahana added.

Meanwhile, Proctor Professor AKM Golam Rabbani told this correspondent: “DU campus is a place for its students, not for Non-Government Organizations (NGO).”

"We are trying to prevent outsiders from holding programs on campus over students’ security concerns," he said.

The permission of the rally was not granted following the proper process, DU proctor added.

"We have guidelines from the High Court in an effort to protect the sanctity of the Central Shaheed Minar where it was clearly enumerated that such hunger-strikes or rallies should not be held at the main base of the monument," he said. 

"There are a lot of people who do not take off their shoes. Therefore, gradually we are trying to curtail the number of permissions and sometime in the future, no program will be held there," Professor Rabbani added.

MJF had planned to bring out a procession following the protest events starting from the Central Shaheed Minar and intended to parade around the Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) of DU and end up at the Shaheed Minar. The organizers had to call off the planned procession.d

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