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Rabindra University teacher Farhana Yeasmin denies forced haircut allegations

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-09-30 01:48:38 BdST


Rabindra University teacher Farhana Yeasmin Baten has brushed aside allegations that she forcibly cut the hair of several students, terming the charges as “imaginary”.

Yeasmin left her positions as the chairperson of the university's Cultural Heritage and Bangladesh Studies Department, assistant proctor and a member of the proctorial board in the face of student protests over the alleged incident on Tuesday.

The protesters on Wednesday vowed to press ahead with their calls for Yeasmin's resignation, but she has refused to bow down to their demand.

Addressing the issue, Yeasmin told “Even if it's true that I cut their hair, an investigation has been launched. Let’s see what they find in the investigation. Why do they (protesters) want me to resign from the university before that?”

The protesters claim that Yeasmin had previously scolded a group of male students for having long hair. She was standing with a pair of scissors in front of an exam hall where first-year students sat for the final test on Sunday. She stopped students with hair exceeding the length of her fist. Later, she chopped the hair of 16 students at the entrance, according to the protesters.

The students were then forced to sit for the exam. Some of them subsequently shaved their heads after returning to the dormitories.

Yeasmin called the students to her offices and allegedly threatened to expel them from the university after they took to Facebook to protest forced haircuts.

“Nothing like this happened. I was surprised to see it in the newspapers,” Yeasmin said while claiming she did not even touch the hair of any student.

The teacher said there should have been photos or videos of the alleged incident, and the students would not have taken the exam the next day had the incident actually happened. “If I wanted to cut the hair of 16 students, none would protest at that time?”  

One of them tried to die by suicide out of humiliation a day after the incident. He was admitted to Khwaja Yunus Ali Medical College in Enayetpur after taking sleeping pills.

Yeasmin said she had removed the student as a class representative a year ago after he allegedly forced another student to pay rent.

“I might have scolded someone when the female students complained about their hygiene. I asked them to be clean.”

After doing her master’s at Dhaka University’s anthropology department, Yeasmin had worked as a teacher of a private university for some time. She joined the public university in Sirajganj in 2018.