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18 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Students, teachers against historic ‘Bara Kuthi’ handover to govt

RU CORRESPONDENT, Rajshahi
Students, teachers against historic 
‘Bara Kuthi’ handover to govt
Bangladesh Chhatra Federation, Rajshahi University unit forms a human chain in front of the Central Library of the university yesterday demanding immediate withdrawal of the decision to hand over Bara Kuthi to the goverment. Independent photo

The teachers and students of Rajshahi University (RU) have demanded immediate withdrawal of the decision to hand over Bara Kuthi, the university’s first administrative building that also served as the vice- chancellor’s (VC's) residence, to the government.

The students along with members of different cultural, social and political organisations formed a human chain to protest against the decision taken by the varsity authorities. On their part, the RU authorities said the cultural affairs ministry had issued a gazette notification last year, saying that the ministry, in accordance with the Antiquities (Amendment) Ordinance, 1976, would preserve Bara Khuti as a heritage structure. In keeping with that notification, the authorities have decided to hand over the building to the ministry concerned.

To press for revocation of the decision, leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Chatra Federation formed a human chain in front of the central library around 1pm yesterday. Rashed Rimon, president of the student front, presided over the programme, while its general secretary conducted it. Sumon Morol, organising secretary of the RU unit of Chhatra Federation, said they are protesting against the decision as the university authorities had taken the decision without consulting student leaders.

RU Teachers’ Association president Md Saiful Islam Faruki said, “Earlier, it had been decided at a general meeting of the association to urge RU VC Prof M Abdus Sobhna to withdraw the decision. We'll soon meet him. If he doesn’t pay heed to our request, we'll go for a tougher movement.”

"Boro Kuthi is a historic part of the university. It's the place where the initial activities of the educational institution had begun. It's a place associated with our emotion. We can't let others take it over,” he added.

On June 29, in the 591st syndicate meeting, the RU authorities decided to hand over the historic Dutch building, ‘Boro Kuthi’, to the cultural affairs ministry as a heritage site. Syndicate member Prof. Habibur Rahman said, “We gave a note of dissent at the syndicate meeting, but the VC refused to consider the matter. Later, we submitted a written memorandum seeking withdrawal of the decision. But the VC passed the order to give the ministry the ownership of Bara Kuthi. This was unexpected from the head of an autonomous institution.”

According to sources, Dutch businessmen came to the Indian subcontinent to buy indigo and cotton materials in 1653. They built many buildings like Bara Kuthi on the banks of the Padma, Meghna and the Jamuna.

The two-storied building has 18 rooms along with a conference room on the ground floor. There are 12 rooms on the first floor. It is now being used as the RU office assistants’ club.

The East India Company forcibly took over the building’s ownership in 1753 and used it as their district headquarters. After the independence of the Indian subcontinent, the house was used for various purposes.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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