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BUET students issue Friday ultimatum over 10-point demand

Published: October 10, 2019 15:22:17 | Updated: October 10, 2019 20:24:39


Student protesters riled by the murder of BUET student Abrar Fahad have threatened to lock up all administrative buildings of the university unless their 10-point charter of demands are met by Friday.

The protests over the killing continued into a fourth consecutive day as disgruntled students congregated in front of the Central Shaheed Minar on the Dhaka University campus to press home their demands on Thursday.

Abrar, a second year electrical engineering student, was bludgeoned to death inside the university's Sher-e-Bangla Hall on September 6. The protesters were particularly aggrieved by Vice Chancellor Saiful Islam's failure to address the issue to the students for over 30 hours after the incident.

But when the VC did come before them, the protesters alleged that he had misbehaved with them.

"He (the VC) didn't answer any of our questions and left hurriedly. We hope the VC will be here with us by 2pm on Friday and talk to us. If not then locks will hang on all BUET buildings," a protester said on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Saiful told the protesters that he agreed “in principle” with their then eight-point list of demands, but the students continued demonstration outside his office as he was non commital about meeting their demands.

They later set out a new 10-point demand on Wednesday with a deadline of October 15 for its implementation. The demands include calls for the withdrawal of the provost of Sher-e-Bangla Hall and the identification and expulsion of the killers from the university within October 11, among others. The provost Zafar Iqbal Khan subsequently resigned from the post later in the day, bdnews24.com reports.

But the protesters on Thursday claimed they had not received a formal announcement of his resignation and therefore will carry on pressing for the 10 points in their charter.

Meanwhile, police arrested another suspect in the case Amit Saha, the deputy secretary of legal affairs to BCL's BUET unit, from the capital's Sabujbagh on Thursday.

The law enforcement agency has arrested 14 people in connection with the murder of Abrar, the majority of whom are Chhatra League leaders and activists.

The 10 demands placed by the student protesters are:

>> Capital punishment for the killers.

>> Identification and expulsion of the killers from the university within 5:00pm on October 11.

>> Fast-tracked trial in a speedy tribunal.

>> Publication of a copy of the charge-sheet in the case.

>> Ban on organisation-based politics in the university by October 15.

>> Explanation of the VC’s absence for 30 hours after the incident; the protesters also seek an explanation of the teacher in charge of the Directorate of Students’ Welfare.

>> Expulsion of those involved in torturing students in the name of “ragging” and “suppressing dissent”. Students named over such incidents at Ahsanullah Hall and Suhrawardy Hall must be expelled within October 11, the protesters say.

>> Withdrawal of Sher-e-Bangla Hall provost for his silence over the incidents of driving students out using political powers and his failure to ensure student security.

>> BUET administration must pay for the expenses for the legal battle and compensate Abrar's family.

>> Disclosure of all previous incidents of violence and the establishment of a common platform to regularly review complaints and institute immediate measures.

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