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Meanwhile, a few more allegations of such authoritarian behaviour have been brought against Farhana Yeasmin Baten, a teacher of cultural heritage and Bangladesh studies department at the university. She was the chairperson, assistant proctor and syndicate member. She has resigned from these three posts.

Speaking about the allegations, chairman of cultural heritage and Bangladesh studies department Laila Ferdous said, “Besides the incident of trimming hair of students forcibly, we’ve received several other allegations against that teacher of assaulting students and misbehaving with them. There are allegations against her from other departments as well. She rebukes student even for the sound of their walking.”

Besides the incident of trimming hair of students forcibly, we’ve received several other allegations against that teacher of assaulting students and misbehaving with them. There are allegations against her from other departments as well. She rebukes student even for the sound of their walking
Laila Ferdous, Chairman of cultural heritage and Bangladesh studies department

“All of the allegations are being investigated. The findings will be known within a short time,” Laila Ferdous added.

Office assistant cum computer operator Sajib Sarkar said teacher Farhana Yeasmin on Sunday asked him to bring a pair of scissors and clipped the hair of 13-14 students.

Another office assistant Abdul Malek said, “I was also at the exam hall during the incident and saw teacher Farhana clipping the hair of the students.”

Describing the incidents of that day, two students said other teachers present at the hall and the students could not say anything as she (Farhana) is very short tempered.

One of the victim students, Tanvir Hossain, told Prothom Alo, “Though exams have started since the reopening of the university after a long closure due to Covid-19, teacher Farhana published the exam routines just 3 or 4 days ahead of the exams, violating rules. Exams were scheduled every day according to the routine. This is inhuman. We tried to submit a memorandum demanding a change in the routine. She collected the names of the students involved with the process.”

Tanvir Hossain further said the teacher tortured them mentally for four hours at the exam hall on Saturday. When the students tried to talk to her about that on the next day, she cut their hair, he added.

Farhana Yeasmin denied cutting the hair of the students. She said, “I’m a bit bad-tempered and rebuke students for studies and exams a bit. Some students approached me demanding deferring the exams but I did not agree with that. Maybe that’s why some students are publicising such negative propaganda against me.”

Meanwhile, protests of students continued at Rabindra University on Thursday against the teacher. The students demanded that controversial teacher Farzana Yasmin Baten be permanently sacked from the university for humiliating their peers. Though she resigned as the chairman of Department of Cultural Heritage and Bangladesh Studies, assistant proctor, and a member of the proctorial board, this did little to pacify the protesters.

Four students -- Habib, Zahid, Sirat and Zakaria of the department, who went on a fast-unto-death hunger strike, fell sick on Thursday, the second day of their protest. Among them, Habib was admitted to Shajadpur Upazila Health Complex while the rest were given first aid.

The protesting students locked the academic and administrative buildings keeping the acting vice-chancellor, registrar and other teachers confined there. They vandalised two CCTV cameras that time.

High Court’s rule

The High Court on Thursday asked the vice-chancellor and the registrar of the university to inform it about steps taken against the three teachers who were involved in forcefully cutting the hair of 14 students.

The court gave the respondents 30 days.

The three teachers are – Farhana Yeasmin, Rajib Adhikary and Jannatul Fedous.

The virtual HC bench of justice Md Mojibur Rahman Mia and Md Kamrul Hossain Molla passed the order with a rule issued during a hearing on a writ petition filed in this regard.

The court asked why directives to compensate the humiliated students with Tk 2 million (20 lakh) each should not be given. The rule also questioned why a directive to introduce a code of ethics for teachers, students would not be given to prevent such oppressive incidents at educational institutes.

Education secretary, secretary of home ministry, Rabindra University VC, registrar, Farhana Yeasmin Baten, professor Rajib Adhikari and Jannatul Ferdous, Sirajganj superintendent of police and sadar police station’s officer-in-charge were made respondents to the rule.

On behalf of rights organisation Law and Life Foundation, Supreme Court lawyers Barrister Mohammad Humayun Kabir on Wednesday filed the writ petition seeking departmental action against the perpetrators and payment of compensation to the injured students.

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