The university observed the day on September 3 this year as the campus was closed on August 23 due to the Eid-ul-Azha holidays
The students, teachers and staffs of Dhaka University (DU) on Monday observed the "Black Day" in memory of the conflict between the university’s teachers, students and officials and security forces during the caretaker government’s regime in August 2007.
Commemorating the day, they wore black badges and held human-chain at the base of Aparajeyo Bangla, in front of the Arts Building, demanding justice for the teachers and students who were assaulted by security forces, which included both police and army personnel.
The DU authorities postponed all classes from 11am to 1pm to organize a discussion at the TSC auditorium, which was attended by Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman.
The university observed the day on September 3 this year as the campus was closed on August 23 due to the Eid-ul-Azha holidays.
VC Akhtaruzzaman said attack on any educational institution was not acceptable by any means.
“Dhaka University has a glorious history of being vocal against any autocratic or undemocratic administration. I hope that we will work sincerely from our respective places by taking lesson from this incident,” he said.
At the human chain, the speakers demanded immediate punishment of those who had assaulted the teachers and students during that conflict in August 2007.
Addressing the program, DU Pro-VC Prof Muhammad Samad said the teachers and students did not seek any apology from anyone though they were arrested and brutally repressed by the then army-backed caretaker government.
On August 20, 2007, during a football match at the university’s gymnasium playground, a scuffle between students and some army personnel had taken place. The matter escalated when the students were physically assaulted, triggering widespread agitation among both teachers and students.
On the night of August 23, the military arrested four teachers and eight students of the university and reportedly tortured them.
The incident also sparked clashes between police and students later, spreading from DU to all other educational institutions across the country.
One person was also killed in Rajshahi and several hundred injured during the clashes.
Afterwards, the authorities had enforced a curfew in Dhaka and five other cities for several days.
A total of 59 cases were filed against 84,000 unnamed students on charges of involvement in the violence.
Several teachers of Dhaka and Rajshahi universities were also arrested and remanded for allegedly instigating the violence.
After spending five months in prison, four DU teachers were released after being granted presidential clemency on January 22, 2008. Eight DU students were also released in several phases.
Later, the then government withdrew a number of cases against the teachers and students.
Since then, the university observes August 23 as the "Black Day" every year.