Tension rises as protesters refuse to leave Jahangirnagar University campus

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

Police protection outside the residence of Jahangirnagar University vice chancellor in Savar on Wednesday. Photo: Tanvir AhmedDefying authorities' directives to leave the campus following the shutdown of Jahangirnagar University (JU) for an indefinite period, teachers and students continued their demonstrations on Tuesday, demanding the removal of its VC Farzana Islam on corruption charges, reports UNB. 

The demonstrating students also vowed not to vacate their dormitories.

They announced to bring out a procession from the old Registrar Building on the campus at 12pm on Thursday. Besides, they will organise a concert in front of the VC's residence at 6pm.

Mahathir Muhammad, one of the organisers of the protest programme and also president of Samajtantrik Chhatra Front's JU unit, made the announcement on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, the university authorities on Wednesday night imposed a ban on the participation of non-resident students in any rally and procession on the campus.

Besides, their stay in any office or residential area of the university was prohibited, said a press release issued around 8pm.

Under the banner of 'Jahangirnagar Against Corruption', the teachers and students on Wednesday held a solidarity rally on the campus in the morning and tried to lay a siege to the residence of the vice-chancellor in the morning.

Obstructed by police, the demonstrators took position on the road leading to the residence.

Agitating teachers and students held a solidarity rally demanding removal of the VC on Wednesday. Photo: Tavir AhmedAfter the university was shut and the resident students were asked to vacate their dormitories, huge police were deployed on the campus, including in front of the VC's residence.

On Wednesday morning, the agitating teachers and students held a solidarity rally in front of the Academic Building to press home their demand for the removal of the VC.

Speakers at the rally said Farzana Islam has lost her moral right to remain as the VC and even as a teacher when she provoked Bangladesh Chhatra League men to attack the protesters.

From the rally, associate professor Rayhan Rhyne, spokesperson of the movement, announced that they would lay a siege to the VC's residence again in the afternoon.

University's former proctor Tapan Kumar Saha said, "It's unfortunate for the teachers and students of the university that the VC termed the assault on them as mass uprising. Farzana Islam not only should face investigation for corruption but also should be brought under justice."

As per their announcement from the rally, the teachers and students started for the VC's residence in the afternoon to lay a siege to it.

However, police obstructed them at the mouth of the road leading to the residence around 5:15pm. They later took position on the road and continued their demonstrations there.

Protest rally of teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University demanding removal of the VC on Wednesday. Photo: Tavir AhmedDefying the directives of university authorities to vacate the halls, the students of different residential halls stayed back on the campus, saying that they will not leave the campus, no matter what.

In the morning, the JU authorities asked the resident students to vacate their dormitories by 3:30pm on Wednesday, warning that noncompliance of the directive will invite action.

The protests were launched in August, demanding a judicial inquiry into the reported involvement of the vice-chancellor in corruption and mismanagement of the Tk 1,445 crore campus development project.

It was alleged that the VC managed the leaders of the JU unit BCL with Tk 1.6 crore from the development fund.

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