Another student observing fasting unto death on demand of resignation of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology’s (SUST) vice chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed has fallen sick.
Shahriar Abedin, a fourth year student of physics department, was admitted to MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital at around 11:20am. With this, 15 out of 23 students observing fast, purportedly unto death, have fallen sick.
Remaining eight students are still observing the protest programme in front of VC’s residence in Sylhet. They have been given intravenous saline.
A total of 24 students started the fasting unto death demanding resignation of the VC. One protester left for his home as his father suffered from stroke.
The protesting students said physical condition of the students who are observing fast have deteriorated but they have been continuing their protest. They would not budge until the VC resigns from the post.
Meanwhile, a team of five SUST teachers have arrived Dhaka to meet education minister Dipu Moni on Friday night. The delegation includes university teachers association’s president Tulsi Kumar Das, general secretary Mohammad Muhibul Alam, physical sciences faculty dean Rashed Talukdar, applied sciences faculty dean Ariful Islam and business administration faculty dean Khairul Islam. They are scheduled to meet the education minister today (Saturday).
The minister on Friday talked to the agitating students in an effort to resolve the issue. She talked to the students over the phone at around 3.10pm. She said that she wants a peaceful solution to the issue as soon as possible and is willing to discuss students directly if they want.
The students of SUST started agitation on 13 January to realise their 3-point demand including resignation of Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall provost Zafrin Ahmed. They alleged the teacher of misbehaviour. Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League on 15 January attacked the demonstrators. Police attacked the students the following day after the students confined the VC in the ICT Building on the campus.
Following this, the authorities declared the university shut on the night and asked the students to vacate the residential halls. But the students defied the order and launched their one-point movement demanding the VC’s resignation.
Students in Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University, Khulna University and Barishal University demonstrated protesting the attacks on SUST students. Various citizen’s platform and political parties also criticised the attacks.