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Students, teachers block JU administrative buildings on campus

  • Published at 12:00 pm September 3rd, 2019
Teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) block the institution's administrative buildings on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

Protestors block all entrances of buildings, preventing the officials, employees from entering work place

A group of teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) has blocked the institution's administrative buildings, demonstrating against the Vice Chancellor whilecalling 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 7:30am on Tuesday.

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 hallsplanned 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 Professor RayhanRhyne 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.

He further said: "Although the university is claiming allegation of irregularities against the VC to be false, the matter needs to be investigated by a higher committee 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 needs to be adjusted to meet all the requirements of the master plan."

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