Jahangirnagar University Syndicate yesterday expelled five students for life for harassing and mugging a female indigenous student on the night of Pohela Boishakh. They are all leaders and activists of Chhatra League.
The decision was taken at a special Syndicate meeting held last night with VC Prof Farzana Islam in the chair, Registrar Abu Bakr Siddique confirmed.
The expelled students are Nishat Imtiaz Bijoy of journalism; Abdur Rahman Ifty and Nurul Kabir of anthropology; Nafiz Imtiaz of chemistry; and Rakib Hasan of geography. They are all boarders of Shaheed Salam Barkat Hall.
On April 16, they were suspended by the Chhatra League and the university administration. Three others were also suspended by the authorities for their efforts to settle the matter.
General students under the banner “Nipironer Biruddhe Jahangirnagar” yesterday gathered in front of the administrative building demanding punishment for the assaulters. They brought out a victory march on the campus after the expulsion order.
The five Chhatra League members physically assaulted the first year student of botany, snatched valuables and beat up her friend when they were returning to their dormitory after attending a function on April 14.
The accused even tried to settle the matter requesting her not to file a complaint. But she lodged a written complaint the following day.
Students and teachers demonstrated against the VC, proctor and members of the cell that deals with sexual harassment complaints, for harassing the victim and delaying punishment.
Some key persons of the administration had tried to label the incident as trivial by saying that the victim’s saree had not been torn and that pulling her saree and trying to drag her into the jungle were not big issues.
Sources said the members of anti-harassment cell did not find proof of harassment.
JU unit President of Bangladesh Chhatra Union Tonmoy Dhar, also an organiser of “Nipironer Biruddhe Jahangirnagar,” welcomed the decision. “We want assurance from the authorities that the expulsion will be implemented since the culprits may try to come back to the campus,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
During a conversation with the agitating students, VC Prof Farzana Islam said the expelled students would not be allowed to stay at the hall or sit for exams. “The university authorities will fight the legal battle if they [expelled students] go to the court.”