JU shut after violence
Authorities have shut Jahangirnagar University till August 25 as the campus burst into violence over Wednesday night's police firing on students.
An emergency syndicate meeting yesterday afternoon announced the closure and asked male students to vacate their dormitories by 6:00pm on the day and female students by 9:00am today.
A committee led by Pro-VC Prof Farhad Hossain was formed to look into the violence and submit a report within 21 days.
The unrest also led to the suspension of academic activities and dean elections scheduled for yesterday.
The University Grants Commission yesterday expressed deep concern over instabilities at the country's public universities, including Jahangirnagar. The commission formed a three-member body to visit the institutions.
On Wednesday night, five students were shot injured while trying to obstruct police from arresting one of their fellows.
In protest, students put blockades on Dhaka-Aricha highway and vandalised 15 vehicles, creating about 12-km tailback.
A running battle took place between law enforcers and students around noon, leaving at least 25 people, including five journalists and three policemen, hurt.
However, the blockades were lifted around 3:45pm.
Students leaving the campus suffered a lot as authorities did not arrange transport for them.
All this began after some unruly youths attacked Tahmidul Islam Likhon, an activist of president-secretary faction of JU unit Chhatra League, near the gate No 1 of JU around 9:30pm on Wednesday.
Likhon, a student of economics department and a resident of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall, was taken to the university's medical centre and later to Enam Medical College and Hospital at Savar.
Talking to The Daily Star at the hospital yesterday, Likhon said he used to stay outside the campus during the movement against immediate past VC Prof Shariff Enamul Kabir. He returned to his dormitory on July 7.
A gang of 10-12 youths led by three students -- Riaz, Liton and Nahid -- stabbed him in the back. The trio was backed by Prof Shariff, he added.
Students said the killers of Zubair Ahmed, a fourth-year student and a BCL member beaten to death in January by rival faction activists, might have made the attack on Likhon.
Likhon had organised a human chain on the campus Wednesday noon demanding justice for Zubair murder.
His mother Kazi Johra Begum filed a case with Savar Police Station around 12:30pm yesterday against 10 named, including Riaz, Liton and Nahid, and 20 unnamed persons.
Protesting the attack on Likhon, students brought out a procession on the campus around 11:00pm Wednesday.
Minutes later, police entered Mir Mosharraf Hossain Hall and tried to arrest Nahid, a third year student of anthropology department.
Police fired blank shots when other students resisted them from arresting Nahid. At one stage, they shot rubber bullets and shotgun shells injuring at least five.
The wounded -- Rakib of pharmacy department, Bashir of statistics, Maruf of information technology, Robin of mathematics and Nahid of finance and banking department -- were taken to Enam Medical College and Hospital.
Rakib, Robin and Maruf were at the hospital last night while the rest were already released.
Students took to the streets soon after Wednesday midnight and put barricades on the highway, demanding resignation of the JU proctor, his assistants and Mir Mosharraf Hossain Hall provost, and punitive action against the cops responsible for the shooting.
As the VC rushed to the spot and tried in vain to calm the agitators, the angry students vandalised his car and another carrying the proctorial body.
Around 6:00am yesterday, Proctor Tapan Kumar Saha, Pro-VC Farhad and Treasurer Nasiruddin talked to students. But the students refused to withdraw the blockades and questioned the police bid to arrest Nahid without the filing of a case.
VC Prof Anwar Hossain told The Daily Star that police were present during the stab incident and they could identify the attackers. Also, Likhon mentioned names of the attackers, he said.
"I told police to take punitive action against whoever the culprits are, but I could not imagine they will open fire on students."
He said a judicial committee should be formed to find why the university is becoming unstable frequently and at whose instigation.
Pro-VC Farhad told The Daily Star that they did not call the police and there was no question of directing them to fire.
Mohammad Asaduzzaman, officer-in-charge of Savar Police Station, said they went to arrest Nahid following the directive of university authorities and that "We had to open fire in self defence."