• Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:41 am

Anger mounts among teachers, students over glacial pace of probe

  • Published at 07:27 pm May 3rd, 2015

Teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University are angered over the delay in submission of a report on sexual assault of an indigenous student that took place on Pohela Boishakh, the first day of the Bangla year.

They alleged the authorities were trying to save the accused, all leaders and activists of the ruling party's student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League's JU unit.

They said the anti-sexual harassment cell had not been cooperating with the victim, rather it continued to repeatedly harass her in the name of questioning her.

Campus sources said the committee attempted to make the victim appear guilty during questioning, which is delaying submission of its review report.

Prof Naseem Akhter Hossain,  a teacher of government and politics department and convenor of Oikyomoncho, said: “The anti-sexual harassment cell was a result of our movement. But now the victims are not getting proper support from the cell, as the university authorities have taken control of the cell.

“Although three weeks have passed since the assault took place, the cell is yet to submit its report. Rather it has repeatedly harassed the victim in the name of questioning and tried to put the blame on her. We have no faith in this cell and demand that its operations be changed in order to make it efefctive."

Students alleged the incidents of sexual harassment had increased on the campus as the authorities were not taking stern action in this regard. They said as most offenders were political leaders and activists, the authorities feel hesitant to take action against the ruling party men.

English department student Palash Raihan said: “It seems the ruling party's student wing and the university administration are serving each other. If the authorities do not take stern action against the sexual offenders and fail to implement the punishment properly, the campus will become more unsafe for the female students.”

President of JU unit Bangladesh Chhatra Union Tonmoy Dhar said: “The students are very angry, as the submission of the report is being delayed for unknown reasons."

JU anti-sexual harassment cell chief Prof Rasheda Akhter said initial work on the review report had been done and it would be submitted within a few days.

Five BCL men of Shahid Salam Barkat Hall on the night of Pohela Boishakh assaulted the indigenous female student of the Botany department and snatched her money and valuables. They also beat up her friend who was accompanying her to the dormitory.

The authorities handed over the case to the anti-sexual harassment cell and suspended the five students.

The JU unit BCL also expelled them for their involvement in the incident.

Since then, the Oikyomoncho, a platform of students and teachers, has been continuing their movement to arrange exemplary punishment for the offenders. 

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