JS probe body to hear Fakhruddin, M oeen
A parliamentary body probing violence on the Dhaka University campus during the last caretaker government will ask the then chief adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, and former army chief Moeen U Ahmed to appear before it.
The four-member sub-committee formed by the parliamentary standing committee on education ministry took the decision yesterday at a meeting held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban to hear their versions on the violence at Dhaka University, meeting sources say.
The sub-committee was formed in August last year to probe law-enforcement agencies' action against students and teachers during the student unrest in August 2007.
"We have decided to ask the former chief adviser and former army chief to appear before the sub-committee at the next meeting," Rashed Khan Menon, chief of the sub-committee, told reporters after the meeting.
The date of the next meeting has not been fixed, said Menon, also chief of the parliamentary standing committee on education ministry.
He said the then chief of general staff Sina Ibn Jamali and the then chief of DGFI (Rajshahi Division) Col Shamsul Alam Khan were present at the meeting. They said they did everything at that time at the directives of the high-ups of the government and the army, Menon added.
He said the two officials also claimed innocence and suggested that the committee hear from the then chief adviser and the army chief.
Menon said the sub-committee also summoned two other former army officials -- Brig Fazlul Bari and Brig ATM Amin -- who played a vital role during the past caretaker regime.
But the defence ministry informed the sub-committee that it was not possible to communicate with ATM Amin, while Bari is at large, Menon added.
The then education adviser Ayub Quadri and the then home secretary Abdul Karim, who is now principal secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, among others, appeared before the sub-committee.
On August 20, 2007, a violent student protest broke out on the Dhaka University campus over a brawl between an army man and a student at a football match on the university playground.
The protest spread to other educational institutions in the capital and elsewhere in the country. It continued for several days resulting in the imposition of a curfew and shutdown of educational institutions in all major cities.
The military-backed administration launched a crackdown on teachers and students.
The joint forces held three RU teachers, while five others surrendered before the court after arrest warrant was issued against them.
A Dhaka court on January 21, 2008 acquitted four DU teachers and 11 students of violation of the Emergency Power Rules in one of the two cases filed against them with links to the student unrest.
In the face of a rising public demand, the then government freed four convicted RU teachers from Rajshahi Central Jail on December 10, 2007.