'Terror and education cannot go hand in hand'
Dhaka University (DU) students held a human chain protest at the base of he Anti-terrorism Raju Memorial Sculpture at the university's TSC intersection on Monday afternoon protesting Sunday's attack of Bangladesh Chhatra League activists on teachers and students at a rally of the quota reformists.
The students, gathered under the banner of "Students against Repression," from the demonstration demanded the resignation of Vice-Chancellor (VC) Md Akhtaruzzaman and Proctor AKM Golam Rabbani.
They called for their resignations citing the university authority's failure to provide security to those studying and residing on the campus.
Protesting the attack on quota reformists, they chanted slogans such as "Stop attacking teachers and students", "Give us security on campus", and "Stop cases and attacks against protestors".
"Dhaka University was the cornerstone of the language movement in 1952, the mass uprising of 1969 and the liberation war in 1971," the students said. "Despite its glorious history, why are we being treated in this way?"
Professor of International Relations (IR) department of DU, Mujibur Sarwar, expressed solidarity with the students by standing with them in the human chain. He condemned those who attacked teachers and students in the rally yesterday.
"We want those who attacked the teachers to be brought to justice," he said. "We want a peaceful solution to the oppressive situation currently prevailing in the campus."
Meghmallar, a student of the Peace and Conflict department and a representative from "Students against Repression", said the students are going to submit a memorandum of their demands to the VC tomorrow.
"If anyone protests, that student is expelled from the dorms, or beaten up," he said. "We want a free environment where we will be able to voice our opinions."
Terror and education cannot go hand in hand, he said.
Chhatra League activists attacked a quota reformists’ rally, which was going towards the office of the vice chancellor of Dhaka University (DU), assaulting students and harassing teachers who accompanied them on Sunday.
The attack came when a rally was organized after quota reformers organized a human chain to declare a 24 hour ultimatum to university authorities, and called for the unconditional release of its leaders in police custody, and demanded arresting those who attacked the reformists.
Many eminent DU faculty, including Department of Mass Communication and Journalism Prof Fahmidul Haq, Associate Professor Abdur Razzaque Khan of the same department, Samina Luthfa of Sociology Department, and Associate Professor Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan of International Relations Department, who took part in the human chain, were also attacked.
On June 30, Chhatra League activists reportedly attacked the quota demonstrators and foiled their scheduled press conference. The incident triggered protests at different universities across the country.
Two days later on July 2, Chhatra League activists attacked quota reformists in the Central Shahid Minar area again.
In the two weeks since then, police have detained 13 leaders of the quota reform movement.
Chhatra League General Secretary SM Jakir Hossain denied involvement of any of the organization’s leaders and activists in the attack. He also claimed it to be a clash between two groups of quota protesters.