Shah Makhdum Medical College: Students protest attack on peers inside campus
Hundreds of students of Rajshahi's Shah Makhdum Medical College yesterday protested Friday's attack on fellow students allegedly by the college's managerial staff on campus.
They began a sit-in programme on campus at 11am and continued for two-and-a-half hours, demanding punishment for the attackers.
On Friday evening, college staffers reportedly beat students with sticks, rods and hammers when the latter entered the campus. Police rescued the injured students and admitted 11 of them to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.
Later that night, Mehedi Hasan, one of the injured students, filed a case with Chandrima Police Station, accusing 21 persons, including the college's managing director (MD) Moniruzzaman Swadhin.
Yesterday, police arrested four of the accused, including college staffer Mithu and his wife Beauty, over the attack.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education, in a letter issued on November 2, directed the college to be shut down for providing substandard education.
The college's students had been demonstrating in the city for a long time, demanding action against poor educational facilities of the private institute.
Acting on the allegations, the ministry investigated and asked college authorities to improve facilities by December, 2019.
In February this year, the ministry conducted another inspection and found that the authority had not taken a single initiative to improve, and the November 2 letter mentioned that they did not show any interest to follow the directive.
The letter asked the authority to stop admitting students and migrating its existing 225 students to different colleges under Rajshahi Medical University.
Paying no heed to the ministry's instructions, the authority applied for reconsideration of the ministry's decisions for the sake of the college and its 200 staffers dependent on it, the demonstrating students alleged.
Students said a ministerial team was scheduled to visit the college yesterday over reconsideration of decisions. Prior to such inspections, authorities usually rent medical and other equipment, and doctors from local clinics and hospitals to show off.
On suspicion, some of the college students went to the campus for checking. When they entered the campus, they were surrounded by college staffers and beaten up, they claimed.
Meanwhile, a four-member ministerial team did visit the campus as per schedule, and after inspection told reporters that the college will not be allowed to run unless authorities can provide necessary facilities and ensure students' safety.
However, if authorities manage to resolve these issues, higher-ups will give further directives on whether the college can run, they said.
"If authorities want to run the college, they have to bring in teachers. Unless they do so, the college will remain closed and migration of students will continue," said Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council Representative Prof Sharfuddin Ahmed, who was part of the ministerial team.
Condemning the attack, he said the miscreants will be brought to the book, adding that under no circumstances will they allow students' lives be put in danger.
Contacted, MD Moniruzzaman said the allegations against the authority were false.
He said the ministry's decision to shut the college down was based on "misinformation".
"Establishing the college was a local initiative to support the region's students. Improving facilities is a gradual process. Whatever facilities we have are not even available at many other medical colleges," he added.