The Dhaka University authorities yesterday claimed they never said “outsiders were prohibited on campus”.
“Some mass media outlets and social media users have partially presented the decisions of Dhaka University's Provost Committee, creating confusion among public. No restriction was imposed on anybody to enter or roam around the campus,” said a statement released by the DU.
The authorities also urged all not to encourage “an evil force” by spreading “confusing information” about the university.
The statement comes two days after the university authorities announced that no outsiders would be allowed to roam or stay on the campus or carry out any activities without their permission.
The decision, made at a provost committee meeting on July 5, left people wondering whether they would be able to visit the campus, where many historic and religious establishments were located.
Many, including two former DU vice chancellors Prof Emajuddin Ahmed and Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, argued the move was against the spirit of the country's premier university, from where some major democratic movements had sparked.
However, the DU authorities in their new statement said the decisions and steps taken at the provost committee meeting were in line with existing rules, policies and earlier decisions of the university.
Prior approval of the university authorities is required to hold any programme, including rally or meeting, on the campus, the statement said, adding that the decision was nothing new.
Monday's statement, however, said, “Outsiders will not be allowed to roam or stay here or carry out any activities without permission of the authorities/proctor. If necessary, the authorities will seek help from law enforcers.”
Yesterday's statement said security guards were always stationed at the gates and it was necessary to create an atmosphere, so that the guards could discharge their duties.
“Authorities occasionally give different directives to them to enhance their skills and responsibilities. Current steps are part of such initiatives,” the statement reads, adding the university authorities are determined to do whatever is required to keep the campus safe for students.
However, DU Vice Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman on Tuesday said, “We will soon set up security checkpoints at every entry point. Our security guards will be posted there. They will prevent outsiders from entering the campus.”
The VC, however, declined to comment when he was contacted yesterday. “Whatever is written on the press release… just write it,” he said.
The proctor also declined to comment.
In Monday's statement, the authorities said, "Resident students of dormitories be directed that they refrain from initiating any activities (spreading rumours or making provocative comments) -- other than studies and co-curricular programmes -- that may hinder academic or normal life.”
The statement also asked provosts concerned to issue letters to the women students who recently demonstrated inside their dorms “hampering normal lives of other students” and to make the students aware of their “responsibilities and duties” in the dormitories.
The step came at a time when the DU became the centre of the ongoing movement for reforming the quota system in civil service. Students from other educational institutions and jobseekers have been taking part in it.
Leaders of Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad, a platform that spearheads the quota reform demonstrations, said the decision was aimed at thwarting their movement.
The university authorities have been widely criticised after Chhatra League men attacked quota reformists on the campus while the university administration remained silent.
To add insult to the injuries, the DU vice-chancellor on Sunday compared the activities of quota reformists with that of Islamist terror outfits like the Taliban and Al-Shabaab.