Eminent citizens stand by students
A cross-section of society joined a rally of demonstrators in the capital's Shahbagh yesterday demanding fresh tests for admission to medical and dental colleges citing the question paper leak, and a fair probe into the death of a UGC official in Rab custody on Thursday.
Terming the death a “planned murder”, the protesters threatened to march to the Prime Minister's Office tomorrow if the demands were not met by today.
On behalf of the admission seekers, one Khalid Saifullah announced holding a rally at Central Shaheed Minar today where solidarity signatures would be collected and evidence of the leak and satirical posters would be exhibited.
Omar Siraj, an assistant director of University Grants Commission (UGC), was arrested by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab)-4 on September 18, the day the test was held, for his alleged involvement in the leak.
Among the noted citizens, academicians, intellectuals, politicians and human rights and cultural activists in the rally was Prof Anu Muhammad, an economist and member secretary of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports.
He said the “murder” was carried out to save the “main culprits” of the leak. “The health ministry has to take responsibility for the leak and heinous beating of demonstrators by police on Wednesday,” he added.
The leak and beating are two criminal offences, said columnist Syed Abul Moksud, adding that the death proved the leak allegation true.
Rajib Meer, who teaches journalism at Jagannath University, urged the government “not to play with the life of admission seekers” and not to destroy the education system by “allowing such leaks”.
Terming the leak a "crime against humanity”, singer Mahmuduzzaman Babu demanded capital punishment for the perpetrators.
Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury urged the prime minister to launch a judicial inquiry into the leak.
“The health minister shamelessly rebutted the question leak allegation despite the presence of sufficient evidence,” claimed the agitated parent of an admission seeker.
Others present were Gono Samhati Andolon Convener Zonayed Saki, spokesperson of a faction of Gonojagoron Mancha Imran H Sarker, Prof Gitiara Nasreen, assistant professors Afroza Bulbul and Samina Lutfa of Dhaka University, and sculptor Bhaskar Rasha.