The students accused the VC of being involved in irregularities
Students and journalists at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University (BSMRSTU), Chittagong University (CU), Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University (JKKNIU), and Rajshahi University (RU), on Thursday demonstrated on their respective campuses demanding the resignation of BSMRSTU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Khondoker Nasiruddin.
Our Gopalganj correspondent Manoj Kumar Saha reported that BSMRSTU students began their protest around 9:30am against VC Nasiruddin’s “various misdeeds and irregularities.”
The students said their protests would continue until the VC resigned.
Their protest began with BSMRSTU authorities issuing an order suspending second-year law student Fatema-tuz-Zinia earlier this month.
The university, however, revoked the suspension order on Wednesday night.
In the face of the protests, BSMRSTU on Thursday also announced that students can voice their opinions freely without fear on social media platforms.
BSMRSTU Registrar Prof Dr Nuruddin Ahmed said: "We have already accepted the students’ 14 demands on Thursday morning and issued a letter regarding the matter.
"I am not sure why they are still continuing with the demonstration."
"The students have not sent us any written petitions regarding this current demonstration," he added.
Meanwhile, talking to Dhaka Tribune, VC Nasiruddin brushed off the students’ allegations that he had affiliation with BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami, and called them “bogus.”
"The situation is under control right now," he said when asked about the protests.
Law Department student Zinia, also the university correspondent of Daily Sun newspaper, was suspended for her reportedly objectionable comments about BSMRSTU on Facebook on September 10.
An audio recording of conversation with the BSMRSTU VC also went viral on social media, on which the VC was reportedly heard verbally abusing Zinia.
While the authorities claimed her posts have tarnished the university’s image, Zinia said she was suspended because of her reports on irregularities and corruption at BSMRSTU.
The protests broke out after the news of her suspension spread. Over the past week, students at different universities across the country had demonstrated demanding withdrawal of her suspension and a proper investigation into the allegations of corruption at BSMRSTU.
At CU on Thursday, under the banner of Chittagong University Journalists Association, students formed a human chain on the campus around 12:30pm, demanding punishment of those responsible for the temporary suspension and harassment of BSMRSTU student Zinia.
Students from different departments and cultural organizations of CU had joined the demonstration.
During a protest rally on campus, they also demanded a congenial environment for free journalism at universities.
At JKKNIU in Mymensingh, our correspondent reported, under the banner of Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University Press Club, journalists demonstrated on the campus around 10am on Thursday, demanding resignation of the BSMRSTU VC.
At RU in Rajshahi city, students demonstrated in front of the Central Library in the afternoon, making similar demands.
Among others, RU Reporters Unity President Murtoja Noor, RU Journalist Association President Suzon Ali, and Press Club President Manik Raihan, spoke at the program.