Jagannath University students demonstrate in front of the Jatiya Press Club yesterday to protest Sunday's police action, and demand retrieving 11 dormitories from grabbers. Photo: Star
Thousands of Jagannath University students yesterday staged a demonstration for the recovery of 11 dormitories from illegal occupation, blocking Topkhana Road in front of the Jatiya Press Club.
Due to the blockade, vehicular movement on the road remained suspended from 11:00am to 2:00pm, creating huge tailbacks.
Commuters suffered as traffic congestion spilled over onto the streets connected to Topkhana Road -- from Bijoynagar to Paltan intersection, Paltan to Zero Point and Shahbagh to Matsya Bhaban.
The Jagannath students have been demonstrating since February 12, demanding the recovery of the 11 halls and staff quarters located in different parts of Old Dhaka from the grip of grabbers.
More than 2,000 students -- some wearing black badges -- took to the streets around 11:00am and started demonstrating before the press club. They were chanting slogans against the illegal occupation and demanding the removal of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Lalbagh division DC for Sunday's police action against the students.
Activists of the university unit Chhatra League, the pro-Awami League student body, and some left-leaning student organisations have been behind organising the protest, which strengthened by participation of general students and teachers, said some students.
Addressing the programme, Prof Ali Akkas, president of Jagannath University Sikkhak Samiti, said the protest would continue until the demand was met.
Protesting Sunday's police action against the demonstrators, the Sikkhak Samiti yesterday again demanded the removal of Lalbagh division DC Harunur Rashid and Kotwali Police Station's Officer-in-Charge Moniruzzaman.
Shariful Islam, president of the university unit BCL, announced that a rally would be held on the campus today.
“We will start a two-day mass signature campaign from Tuesday and submit the signatures along with a memorandum to the education ministry on Thursday, seeking retrieval of the halls,” he said.
At least 50 people, including teachers and students, were injured as police charged truncheons and fired rubber bullets to disperse a demonstration on Sunday.