The recent aggression and harassment of general students at Dhaka University, particularly girls, by pro-government Chhatra League elements, has abated. But the allegations that have arisen over a series of such untoward incidents have not been resolved. Three committees were formed to look into the incidents, but none of the inquiries have been completed so far. A sense of unrest and tensions prevails on campus.
An inquiry committee was formed to probe into the harassment of girl students. Another two committees were formed to look into vandalism and the attack on the students who brought about these allegations and who laid siege to the offices of the university’s proctor and vice chancellor. The protesting students said that they should have representation in the committee investigating the allegations of harassment of the girl students. But they have not been included in the committee. They fear that the other two committees have been formed to take undue action against them.
The general students and Chhatra League are now at loggerheads on campus. There also prevails tension between the common students and the university administration. Under these circumstances, questions arise regarding the neutrality of the inquiry committees. It is imperative that the investigations remain neutral.
There has been no deadline for the committees to submit their inquiry reports. They are allegedly taking their own sweet time to complete their reports. Past experience concerning such committees in Dhaka University and elsewhere shows that the investigations often remain incomplete or the reports are never eventually submitted. As a result, the issues remain unresolved and such untoward incidents are repeated.
Weeks have passed since these three committees were formed at Dhaka University, but there is no indication of when their inquiries will end or when their reports will be submitted. Members of one of the committees told Prothom Alo that they were not in favour of taking any decision too soon. However, we feel that the matter should not linger too long. The committees should thoroughly investigate into what had actually occurred, who were behind the incidents and what wrongdoings took place, and then submit their reports accordingly.
The university administration should take the stand of a guardian. Whether it is the Chhatra League leaders and activists or the protesting students, they are all like children to them. On one side there are allegations of the proctor’s office being damaged and the vice chancellor being detained in his room, and on the other there are allegations of violence unleashed by the Chhatra League elements. The matter should be resolved in a matter so that the peace and order in the university is no disrupted again.
The university administration, including the vice chancellor, should not view the demonstrating students as opponents. Nor should they view the Chhatra League leaders and workers as their ‘collaborating forces’. They must stand as guardians equally to all students.