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BSMRSTU students continue protest for 4th day despite vacation

  • Published at 12:18 pm September 22nd, 2019
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Students of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University (BSMRSTU) continues hunger strike, for the third consecutive day demanding resignation of their Vice-Chancellor on Saturday, September 21, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

They will discuss challenges and opportunities to improve road safety

Students of Gopalganj’s Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University (BSMRSTU) are continuing their hunger strike for the fourth day amid vacation.

The sit-in hunger strike began on September 19, with students demanding the resignation of Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Khondoker Md Nasiruddin. 

The protesting students said they will continue the protest and hunger strike until the vice-chancellor steps down from his post.

Commenting on the matter, university's Registrar Prof Dr Md Nur Uddin Ahmed said: "We are going to talk to the students to withdraw their ongoing hunger strike."

The students have been circulating a mass petition demanding Prof Nasiruddin’s resignation.

Meanwhile, some students from Khulna came to the university campus to announce their solidarity with the ongoing protest.

On September 20, authorities shut down the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University (BSMRSTU) in Gopalganj until Oct 3. 

A letter signed by BSMRSTU Registrar Prof Dr Md Nur Uddin Ahmed said the authorities announced the decision to shut the university from yesterday, to "ensure a congenial academic atmosphere and avert any untoward incident."

Citing security reasons, the university authorities also asked its students to vacate the halls of residence by 10am the next day, it said.

The letter further requested the district administration to impose Section 144, to maintain peace and discipline on the campus. It requested the superintendent of police (SP) to deploy law enforcement officials on the campus for the same reason.

On September 21, at least 20 students were injured during the attacks that took place in front of the Gobra Mosque, Sobhan Road and Sonakur, Gobra and Balurmath areas in the town.

The demonstrating students alleged that they came under attack by the supporters of the vice chancellor, on their way to the university from Gopalganj town.

However, some of the protesters said the attacks were carried out by outsiders with locally made sharp weapons and wooden sticks.

What sparked the protests?

The students started protesting when the BSMRSTU authorities issued an order to suspend second-year law student Fatema-tuz-Zinia earlier this month. The university, however, lifted the suspension order on September 18.

Zinia, also the university correspondent for the Daily Sun newspaper, was suspended for her reportedly objectionable comments about BSMRSTU on Facebook on September 10.

An audio recording of an altercation she had with the BSMRSTU VC, in which the VC was reportedly heard verbally abusing Zinia, went viral on social media.

While university authorities claimed her posts tarnished the university’s image, Zinia said she was suspended because of her reports on irregularities and corruption at BSMRSTU.

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