Everyone seeks disposal of deadlock at JU: VC & Govt. shows rigidity
Shahadat Sumon, JU correspondent: Jahangirnagar University (JU) is one of the top and only fully residential universities in Bangladesh which has been closed sine die since a month ago due to an attack on protesters by a group of BCL activists led by its branch president Jewel Rana.
The agitating teachers and students under the banner of “Jahangirnagar Against Corruption” has been protesting since last August demanding rearrangement of master plan of the university development project and to relocate the three male dormitories adjacent to the Bishwakabi Rabindranath Tagore hall as it is an unplanned construction by endangering the biodiversity of the campus.
Later, the movement got momentum into VC removal movement after publishing the alleged involvement of VC Farzana Islam in misappropriation of around Tk 1.6 crores from the budget of development project, in collusion with Chhatra League leaders.
Agitators demanded a judicial inquiry over the allegations of corruption and irregularities against Vice Chancellor Prof. Farzana Islam centering the development project.
On October 2, protesters called for a strike on campus to meet their demands. Later a meeting was held between university administration and protesters. However, no solution came from that meeting and the protests was continued.
After starting the protests in August, allegations also surfaced against the president and secretary of BCL central committee that they had demanded “fair share” to VC from the development project.
On this issue, these two leaders of the ruling party student wing were removed by the Awami League top brass. Later one of them levelled corruption allegations against VC Farzana, which she immediately rejected.
Allegations also surfaced that the VC gave money to JU unit Chhatra League leaders and some of them also admitted that they had received Tk1 crore from VC as Eid gift.
In reaction, students and teachers started fresh movement from September 19 demanding probe over the allegations.
Then protesters went for a strike. Amidst the ongoing protests, they laid a siege to the VC’s residence. On November 5, the protesting students and teachers were attacked by the leaders and activists of BCL led by JU unit President Jewel Rana. Centering the issue, university administration has decided to vacate the dormitories to avoid unexpected collision between those two groups.
During a meeting, Education Minister Dipu Moni also asked the protesting teachers and students to submit written allegations against the VC, saying steps would be taken if they were proven.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the people raising allegations of corruption against the vice chancellor of Jahangirnagar University will face legal consequences if they fail to substantiate their claims.
Therefore, the protesting teachers and students claimed that they have submitted enough proof over their allegation, but no visible action has ever been taken to investigate the corruption by either govt. or UGC. So, they decided to resume the movement until their demand made.
But about 15 thousand students are suffering for this reversible allegation between the protesters and the VC leaning group.
“I don’t go to home for my tuition purpose and staying around the campus as a refugee. The circular of the 41th BCS exam has been published but can’t take my preparation due to the shortage of proper educational environment. The university administration has decided to close the campus sine die ignoring the future of those 15 thousand students and their family. The hall and library should be opened swiftly.” said a master’s students of the university.
Sohana Moni, student of Anthropology department (44th batch), while taking about the current situation of the campus said, “After the Deputy Education Minister’s statement, the position of the VC and the government is clear. I saw in the news that the movement will resume as before. If both sides are in the same position, how will be the problem solved.”
“Both group should now come to a settlement. But who will tie the bell in the cat’s neck! Everyone is trying to be saint at their own position. Teachers are busy in power and politics practice where they trample down their main duty.” She added.
Earlier, on November 28, the general students urged to reconsider the decision of closing the dormitories sine die to the VC and protesters.
While talking with them, Prof Farzana Islam said, “We will try to recapture the proper environment in the campus after the govt. decision has come as nothing has our hand to negotiate the running deadlock.”
On behalf of the protesters, Musfiq-Us-Shalehin, former acting president of Jahangirnagar Cultural Alliance asked them (General students) to made the same demand calling them “Why we can’t protest together keeping our demand to the administration?”
Mentionable, JU campus has closed for the 27th consecutive days and the protesters has published their next program tomorrow following their regular movement.