Education Minister to visit SUST Friday as protests resume

Students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology bring out a protest procession on the campus on 9 February 2022, demanding the resignation of SUST vice chancellor Farid Uddin AhmedProthom Alo

Education minister Dipu Moni will hold a meeting with the students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology University (SUST) on Friday as they resumed demonstrations demanding removal of vice chancellor professor Farid Uddin Ahmed, reports UNB.

“The personal secretary to the minister said she’ll start for Sylhet at 8:00am and will hold a meeting with SUST students,” Mujibor Rahman, deputy commissioner of Sylhet, told the news agency on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the SUST authorities removed its proctor Md Alamgir Kabir, whose resignation was one of the demands of protesting students.

Md Ishrat Ibne Ismail, associate professor of English Department at SUST, has been made the new proctor, according to a notice signed by registrar Isfaqul Hossain on Thursday.

The notice, however, mentioned personal and family issues as the reason for his withdrawal.

A SUST student marks with a red handprint the IICT building wall where police attacked them on 16 January
Anis Mahmud

Earlier, on 6 February, the authorities appointed professor Amina Parveen of the Department of Social Work as the new Student Counselling and Guidance Director removing professor Zahir Uddin Ahmed from the position due to his “sickness”.

SUST students brought out a procession on the campus on Thursday morning and marked the place with a red handprint where police attacked them in front of IICT building on 16 January, said Shahriar Abedin, a protesting student.

They called for activating more than 250 mobile banking accounts of students and withdrawal of the two cases filed by police against the students.

The students resumed their protests on Wednesday, as their demand for the removal of the VC is yet to be met.

The protesting students marched the campus with placards and photographs of police actions on the protesters on 16 January.

Over two dozen SUST students, who started fasting, purportedly unto death, ended their week-long hunger strike on 26 January. They broke the fasting after former SUST professor Muhammad Zafar Iqbal offered them water to drink.

Professor Muhammad Zafar Iqbal and his wife Professor Yasmeen Haque with SUST Students
Prothom Alo

The students embarked on fast-unto-death on the university campus on 19 January, demanding resignation of the vice-chancellor over the police crackdown on their fellows.

The strike was launched after police swooped on the protesting students, charging batons and firing sound grenades and shotgun bullets. On the other hand, police filed a case against 300 unnamed protesting students.

The reported attack was carried out to free the VC from confinement in the university’s IICT building. It had left 40 people hurt, including teachers, students and policemen.

Zafrin Ahmed, a provost of Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall, was at the centre of the initial unrest as she allegedly misbehaved with some students on 13 January when they met her with some complaints.

She later resigned from her post, citing health issues.