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JU students, teachers block administrative buildings in protest against VC

  • Published at 06:38 pm September 3rd, 2019
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Teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) block the institution's administrative buildings on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

A group of teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) blocked the institution's administrative buildings, demonstrating against the vice-chancellor (VC) while calling for a three-point demand

Protestors block all entrances of administration buildings, preventing officials, employees from entering

A group of teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) blocked the institution's administrative buildings, demonstrating against the vice-chancellor (VC) while calling for a three-point demand.

Under the banner of "Jahangirnagar against Corruption", the teachers and students began their protest near the old and new administrative buildings on the university's premises around 7:30 am yesterday.

The protestors reiterated their demand for a planned development and forming a judicial probe committee to look into the allegations of corruption and irregularities involving the project worth Tk1,445 crore. 

Their other two demands are: selection of an alternate location for the three ten-storied student halls planned around the Bishwakabi Rabindranath Tagore Hall, and implementation of the entire project according to the outlook of everyone affiliated with the university. 

The protestors blocked all the entrances of the buildings, preventing the administrative officials and employees from entering their place of work.

The demonstrating teachers and students claimed that the master plan of the project was obscure as it was not planned properly.

JU Department of Philosophy's Associate Prof Rayhan Rhyne told Dhaka Tribune, "The location for the three student halls needs to be tactically moved to a place where fewer trees would have to be cut down."

"Although the university is claiming the allegation of irregularities against the VC as false, the matter needs to be investigated by a high level committee from outside the university, be it a judiciary probe or a University Grants Commission (UGC)-led investigation."

"If the allegations prove to be true, then the accused must be brought to justice and the project has to be adjusted to meet all the requirements of the master plan."

Previously on Monday, a section of the teachers and employees of JU brought out a human chain in support of the JU VC and her family members.

Under the banner of “Bangabandhu Shikkhok Parishad,” a group of teachers, officials, and employees formed the human chain inside the university's Shaheed Minar premises.

Terming the allegation of corruption and irregularities in development projects false and fabricated, the speakers alleged that a certain group was fuelling the controversy for their own benefit and trying to halt the development of JU in the name of protest.

Students and teachers of JU, renowned for its forestry, have been protesting a government-approved Tk1,445 crore development project, which involves the construction of new buildings, for which 1,150 trees need to be felled.

In the first phase of the project, the university administration called for tenders on May 1 for the construction of six residential halls. The cost of constructing these halls is estimated to be around Tk400 crore.

But there was outrage when on August 25 news spread that JU VC Prof Farzana Islam was involved in corruption and was accused of distributing around Tk2 crore among three factions of the Chhatra League’s JU unit from the project fund.