Shahjalal University students to continue protest demanding VC's resignation

Students of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology have declared they will continue their demonstration to demand the resignation of Vice-Chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed and ignored an official decision to vacate residential halls.

The authorities closed the university for an indefinite period on Sunday evening and ordered students to vacate the halls by noon on Monday.

“Zafrin Ahmed Liza, the provost of Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall, has resigned according to the demands of students. Professor Nazia Chowdhury of the Physics Department was appointed in her place,” the VC told the media on Sunday.

Rejecting the statement, over 2,000 students protested to demand the resignation of the VC as well at their campus on Monday.

They marched through the campus at 8 am and gathered at the Muktamancha at 11 am. The students said that Farid was ‘unwanted’. The demonstrators said students will remain in the halls and they will lock all provost offices.

The protestors said they would send a memorandum to the president, who is also the chancellor of all universities in the country.

“We only demand the resignation of the VC,” said Sabbir Ahmed, a student in the Department of Public Administration in the 2016-17 session, adding that further action will be taken according to the students’ decision.

Students of Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall said that Zafrin Ahmed Liza, the previous provost, had ‘misbehaved’ with a student when they approached her with some problems. On Sunday, they held the VC captive at the ICT building of the university, before he was rescued by police at 5 pm.

A clash occurred between police and students on the campus at 5:30 pm on Sunday. Police charged protesters with batons and fired tear-gas and rubber bullets.

At least 50 people, including students and university officials, were reportedly injured in the incident.

Azbahar Ali Sheikh, the deputy commissioner (north) of Sylhet Metropolitan Police said police used a baton charge when the protesters grew agitated.