Demonstrations in SUST: Five alumni held for donating to students
The Criminal Investigation Department of Dhaka Metropolitan Police on Monday detained five former students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology for donating money to demonstrating students on campus demanding the resignation of the vice-chancellor.
All 28 students on hunger strike are on IV drips and 19 of them are hospitalised.
The CID yesterday handed the five former students over to Sylhet Metropolitan Police.
Md Nisharul Arif, commissioner of SMP, claimed that the five were detained for allegedly financing criminal conspiracy and provoking a peaceful movement.
"We are quizzing them at Jalalabad Police Station and will take legal action against them. We will also try to find their motives for financing the movement."
A case was filed with the police station last night against the five and another 150 unnamed people, said BM Ashraf Ullah Taher, additional deputy commissioner (media) of SMP.
Sujat Ahmed Layek, a resident of Amberkhana area, filed the case, he said without giving details of the case.
Some friends and families of the detainees Reza Noor Muin, Habibur Rahman Khan, AFM Nazmus Sakib Dip, AKM Maruf Hossain and Faisal Ahmed believe that they were detained for other reasons.
Reza's wife Jakowan Salwa Takrim, also a former Sust student, said, "We stood beside the protestors as former students of the university and donated some money. We have no political motive, we just wanted to help the juniors as seniors."
Faiza Nodi, wife of Sakib, said, "Some juniors [students of the university] called and asked for support for the cause. He [Sakib] sent Tk 3,000."
On Monday afternoon, mobile banking accounts of protesters were frozen. They were using those accounts to raise money.
A spokesperson for the students said, "This shows how desperate the vice-chancellor is to demoralise the movement and this makes it clear why he should resign."
Ain O Salish Kendra, a rights organisation, in a statement yesterday condemned the detention of the five former students. "Such detention is a violation of constitutional and human rights and the government should stop the harassment and find a peaceful solution," it read.
On Monday evening, a voluntary medical team of Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital withdrew their healthcare support to the students on hunger strike.
Two doctors, however, are still serving the students.
Nazmul Hasan, general secretary of the medical college unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League and a volunteer, said, "As many students were showing Covid symptoms and refusing to get tested, we had to withdraw… ."
Last night, other protesting students requested the students on hunger strike to break their fast, but those on hunger strike refused.
The power connection to the vice-chancellor's residence, which was cut off on Sunday evening, was restored early yesterday.
A spokesperson for the protesters said, "We restored power considering that more than 30 families in the staff quarters nearby were also suffering … ."
On January 13, a group of students began demonstrations alleging that their dormitory's provost, Zafrin Ahmed Liza, misbehaved with a student.
On January 16, police fired rubber bullets and hurled sound grenades on the agitating students, triggering a clash that left over 30 students injured.
The students that night started their demonstration demanding the resignation of VC Prof Farid Uddin Ahmed.