Students of Jagannath University demonstrating for Tibet Hall to be retrieved from Haji Salim
Students of Jagannath University demonstrating for Tibet Hall to be retrieved from Haji SalimDipu Malakar

A human chain, demanding 'Tibet Hall' of Jagannath University to be retrieved from the possession of Haji Md Salim, was organised under the banner of 'General Students of Jagannath University' on Thursday afternoon.

Students of different departments took part in the demonstration in front of the university's main gate.

The students who took part in the human chain said that the university's Tibet Hall, adjacent to Ahsan Manzil, had been occupied by the ruling party MP Haji Salim for more than two decades. The authorities are unable to ensure students' accommodation even after 15 years since the university had been established.

There was no move to retrieve Tibet Hall and other halls from illegal occupation. The students sought the cooperation of the government in resolving the issue.

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Joint general secretary of the Bangladesh General Student Rights Council, Jagannath University branch, Mahmudul Hasan, said that finding accommodation on the new campus is near impossible. If the administration is committed and student-friendly, it will take immediate steps to rescue the hall, he said, adding that retrieving the hall will prove that the administration is not afraid of Haji Salim's 'battalion'.

Students were evicted from the Tiber dormitory after the locals clashed with the students in 1985 while Jagannath University was a college. The hall had accommodation for about 400 students. Haji Md Salim later took control of the Tibet dormitory following a High Court ruling. Later, after the college was upgraded to a university in 2005, the name of the dormitory became known as Tibet Hall.

As part of the demonstration on Thursday, students also staged a protest procession circling the main roads of the campus.