At least two students were injured during a clash with police on Thursday morning while staging a peaceful demonstration at Shahbagh intersection.
Students of seven government colleges in Dhaka which have been recently formally affiliated with the Dhaka University staged the demonstration demanding the dates for their pending Master’s and Honour’s exams be announced.
After the clash, a committee announced the dates for the exams.
The seven colleges are: Government Titumir College, Dhaka College, Eden Mohila College, Begum Badrunnesa College, Kabi Nazrul Government College, Shaheed Suhrawardy College and Mirpur Bangla College.
Following the clash, traffic movement in different roads connecting to Shahbagh came to a standstill, making the traffic situation rather difficult.
The two injured students - Siddiqur Rahman, student of Government Titumir College, and Mainul Hasan, student of Dhaka College, were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, according to Monir Hossain, a demonstrator, who is a Master’s candidate of from the Department of Physics at Dhaka College.
He told the Dhaka Tribune: “Hundreds of students from all seven colleges affiliated with Dhaka University formed a human chain at Shahbagh intersection area at around 12:00pm. A lot of police was surrounding us, claiming they were there to maintain law and order.”
“Without any warning, the police charged us with batons and fired tear gas shells at us, injuring several students,” he further said.
Additional Deputy Commissioner (Ramna) SM Azimul Haque told the Dhaka Tribune that the protesters had tried to block the road to press home their demands.
[caption id="attachment_94126" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]
DU-affiliated college students demand their exam dates be announced at a protest at Shahbagh intersection on July 20, 2017 Courtesy of Shahed Mohammad Sayed
“When we tried to remove them from the road, they began hurling bricks and stones at us. Their attack injured three policemen. So we responded with four rounds of tear gas shells to disperse them. We picked up 13 protesters from the spot.
The ADC claimed the situation is under control now and claimed it was unfortunate that the protesters had to be charged, but maintained it was imperative because they were blocking a major road in the capital.
According to the protesters, session jam and deferring exam dates have become more prominent after they became affiliated with the Dhaka University.
“Other college students are sitting for their final year exams while our futures remain uncertain. What is going to happen to our education and career?” asked a protester.
The student protests have borne fruit. On Thursday afternoon, BCS General Education Association President IK Selim Khondoker confirmed the Dhaka Tribune that the exam schedule for the seven colleges have been finalised.
He said the exams will be centralised. He said the decision was taken during a meeting Wednesday night chaired by DU Vice-Chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique.