The newly-appointed Chhatra League leaders and activists have locked the administration and the vice-chancellor’s buildings at the University of Rajshahi and held a sit-in demanding they be allowed to join their offices.
They took position around 7:30 am on Saturday. Later at 12:30 pm, they suspended the protest on the assurance of the administration.
Earlier, they had staged movements by locking the administration building on several occasions.
The protesters said there was a meeting of the university’s finance committee on Saturday. There is also a syndicate meeting on 22 June.
They said they would not allow any activities of the university to continue until they are allowed to join their offices.
Matiur Rahman Mortuza, a Chhatra League activist, said, “We have taken a stand to join our offices. Our movement will continue as long as we cannot join. The routine vice-chancellor is implementing his own agenda and is not allowing us to join work. He is holding meetings of the finance committee and the syndicate. This will not be allowed.”
The protesters moved from the administration building and took a position in front of the residence of Routine Vice-Chancellor Professor Anand Kumar Saha at around 12 noon. Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Md Zakaria Chowdhury and Registrar Professor Abdus Salam were at the vice-chancellor’s residence.
The Chhatra League men took a position there thinking the meeting of the finance committee would be held there. They later suspended the movement when the registrar went to his house from the residence of the routine vice-chancellor in response to their demands.
At that time, the vice-chancellor told the protesters, “I do not have the authority to appoint someone or hold their appointment. The education ministry has limited my authority by imposing a ban. I will take action in this regard by contacting the education minister and secretary again.”
Professor M Abdus Sobhan celebrated his last working day as the vice-chancellor on 6 May and appointed 141 people ad hoc on the last day of his term. Among them are children, wives and relatives of university teachers, former and current leaders and activists of the Chhatra League, and journalists.
The education ministry formed a four-member inquiry committee that evening, calling the “controversial” appointments illegal. The committee came to the university to investigate and submitted the probe report to the education ministry on 23 May.
The appointments were described as illegal. The probe committee found evidence of the involvement of several people, including the outgoing vice-chancellor, in the appointments.