The Barishal University authorities yesterday decided to resume all academic activities from today, and open the three student dormitories from yesterday afternoon. The decision was announced after a six-hour meeting between agitating students -- who have been demonstrating on the campus demanding resignation of the vice-chancellor (VC), university authorities and district and divisional administration, including local lawmaker and State Minister for Water Resources Zahid Faruque, and city Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah.
The state minister said, “After a long discussion, we are fulfilling all reasonable demands of the students, and have decided to resume normalcy on the Barishal University campus.”
“We will also send a proposal to the prime minister for granting leave to the VC,” he added.
He also asked the university authorities to take proper steps to address the 22-point demand of the students.
“Considering the future of the students, we have decided to resume all academic activities and return normalcy on the campus,” Registrar Hasinur Rahman told journalists.
Barishal Education Board Chairman and BU syndicate member Md Younus said, “We hope our decisions will get approval at the BU syndicate meeting scheduled to be held on April 9 in Dhaka.”
Contacted, VC Dr SM Imamul Haque said, “I am yet to be officially informed about the decision of going on leave. After receiving official notification, I will decide about it.”
Lokman Hossain, one of agitating students, said, “As per decision of today's meeting, we postponed our movement temporally.”
He said students will go back to classes now, and they will declare their further programmes later.
Meanwhile, a section of students held a press conference at Barishal Press Club last evening, where they said they would continue demonstrations until the VC resigned, or they had the commitment of him leaving in writing.
The agitation at BU started on March 26 after VC Prof Dr SM Imamul Haque, during a programme of Debating Society at the university commented that students, who foiled a tea-party of invited guests marking Independence Day, were “Razakarer Bachcha” (children of Pakistani collaborators of 1971).
This remark agitated the students, who started demonstrating demanding removal of the VC from his post.
The VC declared closure of BU indefinitely on March 28, and asked students to vacate dormitories by that afternoon. Students defied the order and continued their protest.
On March 29, the VC expressed regret about his comment, which was rejected by students.