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DU student rape: Female students form human shield, perform flash mob

  • Published at 02:46 pm January 9th, 2020

The victim was attacked and raped on Sunday

Female students of Dhaka University (DU) on Thursday blockaded the Teacher Student Centre (TSC) intersection by forming a human shield.

The protest took place around 1pm on Thursday demanding justice for their fellow student who was raped by a serial rapist on Sunday.

Inside the human shield, a group of students held a sit-in protest while a group of female students performed a flash mob, and another group comprising first year students burnt an effigy of the rapist.

The blockade continued for two hours, causing heavy traffic gridlock at Shahbagh intersection and adjoining roads.

Fazle Elahi, a second year sociology student, said: “Mojnus are growing due to a lack of justice in the country. We demand security for everyone across the country.”

Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) member Tanbir Hasan Shaikat led the effigy burning of serial rapist Mojnu along with first year students.

He said: “Our sisters have been protecting us [students] during protests of all kinds inside DU, both before and after the country’s liberation. It is a tradition of DU that our sisters are always on the frontline.”

In another development, Ducsu Vice-President Nurul Haque Nur and his organization Bangladesh General Students' Rights Protection Council held a protest march to press home the demand for ensuring capital punishment of the rapist.

Students at Dhaka University join in hand demanding justice for their fellow peer who became a victim of rape, on Thursday, January 1, 2020  | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune
“We have to protest against rape and all forms of sexual harassment against women. Had the students not raised their voice against the incident, prompt action would not have been taken in this regard,” said Nur while addressing the program.

He also demanded justice for all previous rape incidents or sexual abuse.

16 students submit blank answer sheets

Sixteen undergraduate students of DU submitted blank answer papers on Wednesday as part of a demonstration of solidarity with the ongoing protest demanding justice for the rape victim.

Third year students of the sociology department wanted to boycott the final examination for the course, Migration and Diaspora (353).

After halting the exam for one hour and forty-five minutes of its commencement, they sat for the final exam around 10:45am, signed the attendance sheet and submitted blank answer scripts.

Confirming the matter, Sabrina Khatun, assistant general secretary of Bangmata Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall Union, told Dhaka Tribune: "We [the students] did it as part of the ongoing protest and expressing solidarity with the DU student who was raped."

Students at Dhaka University form a human chain demanding justice for their fellow peer who became a victim of rape, on Thursday, January 1, 2020 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

"We did not submit any formal application to the authorities concerned to cancel the examination. Students submitted blank answer scripts on their own," Sabrina added.

Supti Das Chaity, another student who submitted a blank answer script, told Dhaka Tribune: "Perhaps our department was the first to conduct semester finals immediately after the rape incident. We thought we should wait at least for the detention of rapist, but were not aware of his detention at the time as we were in the exam hall."

"It was not possible to cancel the exam or boycotting it. But16 [students] were present and submitted blank answer sheets. We are deeply concerned about our academic career as we come from struggling families and we will sit for the improvement exam with the following batch. But our conscience had us protest in this manner," she said.

Meanwhile, students of the sociology department formed a human chain at the base of Raju Memorial Sculpture on Thursday and later submitted a memorandum incorporating eight demands to DU Vice-Chancellor Akhtaruzzaman.