Death of Abantika: Students demand accused’s arrest within 12 hrs

The Jagannath University students brought out a demonstration on the campus around 3:30 pm on 16 March, 2024Dipu Malakar

Jagannath University (JnU) students have stipulated 12 hours for filing a case and arresting the accused, in connection with the suicide of a female student Fairuz Abantika at her home in Cumilla.

The students brought out a demonstration on the campus around 3:30 pm and demanded that the university administration respond to their demand. They marched through the adjacent roads and returned to the university's new building for a rally.

Fairuz Abantika was a student of the 13th batch of the university’s law department. She committed suicide around 10:00 pm on Friday, after posting a note on her Facebook timeline.

Friends of Fairuz Abantika said she accused a classmate of various allegations including sexual harassment. She also alleged that an assistant proctor backed the accused student and misbehaved with her, and said she would kill herself.

The JnU students placed a five-point demand during the demonstration. The demands include – ensuring fair and impartial investigation into the death, issuing arrest warrants against the accused and expelling them from the university, avoiding victim-blaming and arranging her family’s security, and filing a lawsuit from the university and making the women suppression cell effective.

Rezwanul Haque, an economics department student, read out the demands before the media.

The students warned to wage further movement if the demands are not met within 12 hours. Addressing the demonstration, Naim Raj, a student, threatened to besiege the university’s academic building if the authorities do not arrest the accused and expel them from the varsity by the next day.

Earlier, the university administration ordered the people concerned to suspend and immediately arrest the classmate facing allegations.

Besides, the assistant proctor, who faces allegations of abating the accused student, was suspended and removed from the proctorial body.

The JnU administration also formed a five-member high-powered committee to investigate the incident, according to a press release sent to media by the university around 5:00 am on Saturday.