Students arranged a sit-in in front of the university when a group of construction workers of the university attacked them and severely injured a female student
Students of North South University (NSU) have alleged that a group of construction workers working in the university attacked them while they were peacefully protesting in front of the university gate on Monday.
They started the sit-in on Sunday morning in front of their campus in the Bashundhara residential area of Dhaka, putting forward a six-point demand, including a 30% tuition fee waiver.
A protester, Aminur Rahman Rakib said a group of construction workers came out of the university and assaulted the students. They molested and severely injured one of the female students.
NSU proctor (Acting) Dr Abu Noman Mohammad Atahar Ali Saif said: “We will identify those responsible for the attack and take immediate action against them.”
Meanwhile, a team of police officers from Vatara police station came to the campus to bring the situation under control.
In the course of the protest, Vice-Chancellor Prof Atiqul Islam, 200 teachers and other staff were confined inside the campus for three hours.
Around 300 students of NSU had been demonstrating before the university campus since 10am. The protests were continuing as this report was being written. The students have placed certain demands before the NSU authorities regarding the upcoming semester, scheduled to start from October 22.
The demonstrating students said everyone was in a financial crisis due to the coronavirus situation.
One of the students, preferring anonymity, told Dhaka Tribune the university had decided to waive 20% tuition fees last semester, in response to the demands of students. Other private universities had also waived 20% tuition fees.
However, the NSU authorities then cancelled the facility without any notice, even though the pandemic has continued.
“Later, we tried to contact the authorities regarding the issue, but they did not respond. So, we have been forced to start a movement,” the student said.
The students claimed they had been asked to pay Tk9,500 per month from the next semester for lab and library facilities, even though they were not using the facilities at present.
The students fear the authorities will demand full fees from the students in the upcoming semester.
Among the demands of the students are 100% waiver for financially distressed students, waiving additional fees along with semester fees, and paying salaries to teachers, officials and employees.
The students said they would stage another demonstration in front of the university gate at 10am on Tuesday if the demands were not fulfilled.
Prof Atiqul Islam, VC of the university, told Dhaka Tribune: “The university will announce its decision regarding the students’ demands before the new semester commences. We will sit with the board of trustees to resolve the matter.”