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Dipu Moni asks Shahjalal University VC Farid to apologise

  • Shahjalal University Correspondent,
    Published: 2022-02-12 00:14:54 BdST

Dipu Moni has asked Farid Uddin Ahmed, the embattled vice-chancellor of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, to apologise by accepting responsibility for police attack leading to clashes and protests. 

The education minister met Farid Uddin and other teachers and officials at his office in Sylhet on Friday after a meeting with the students protesting for his removal.

Registrar Anwarul Islam said Dipu Moni asked Farid Uddin to bring normalcy to the campus before Feb 14, the university’s founding anniversary.

“No matter whether the incident occurred on your [Farid Uddin’s] orders or not, the responsibilities fall upon you because you’re the head of the institution. If I were you, I would apologise. You must apologise to all,” Anwarul quoted the minister as telling the VC during the meeting with teachers.

Students had begun protests in the second week of January to demand the resignation of Zafrin Ahmed Liza, provost of Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall, after she had allegedly misbehaved with students.

Though she was eventually removed, students have continued their campaign to press for the resignation of Farid after police used batons, tear shells and stun grenades to break up a protest.

Police charged 300 unnamed students in a case over the protesters’ clash with law enforcers.

The students launched a hunger strike to push for the removal of the VC and the dismissal of the case. Some former students were charged and arrested in another case over financing the protests.

The protesters ended the hunger strike after seven days on Jan 26, but continued other forms of protests.

Dipu Moni had talked to the students via video call during the hunger strike. She travelled to Sylhet to discuss their demands in-person on Friday.

Student representatives declined commenting on the meeting, saying they will speak at a press conference.  

Dipu Moni said she would convey their demand for Farid’s removal to President Md Abdul Hamid, the ex-officio chancellor.

“It is the chancellor who appoints or removes a vice-chancellor. So we will inform the chancellor about the demand and he will take the decision.”

Registrar Anwarul said the minister sought everyone’s support to let the university hold normal activities smoothly until the president takes a decision.

VC Farid came out of his official residence on the campus under tight security for the first time in 26 days with Deputy Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhoury Nowfel to meet Dipu Moni. Security was heightened when he left office after the meeting, which was also attended by deans and representatives of teachers.