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20 October, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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protests in BUET

Fear of session jam as class boycott continues

Rifat Islam, Dhaka

The protesting Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) students have decided not to participate in academic activities, including attending classes and appearing for exams, even though their movement stopped on the seventh day. They are demanding action against the killers of fellow student Abrar Fahad. They say that they will not participate in any kind of academic activity unless those named in the charge-sheet for the murder are expelled from the university. As a result, there has been a setback in BUET, and there are fears that a session jam, or deadlock, will occur.  Although BUET's "term test" was to have begun yesterday (Saturday), it was not held, said Prof. Md Abdul Basit, acting director of BUET's Student Welfare Office (DSW).

"In the present case, students are not in a position to sit for the exams. We spoke to them about how can the exams be held in a timely manner. The session management committee and the academic council will discuss with the students and fix the exam dates soon. We hope the students will cooperate for their own benefit," he added. Mohammad Kaikobad, a professor of computer science engineering at BUET, said: "It's sad to see students not attending classes or appearing for exams. This way, they will lag behind."

"If it is seen from the students' perspective, it can be said that they were compelled to take this step. We have seen a lot of promises made in other cases earlier, including the 'Sunny killing' (another former student of BUET, killed during political riots). How much of the promises were kept by the

authorities? Because of such ‘bad experiences,’ the students probably want to return to normal academic work after all their demands are met,” he added.

Prof. KM Masud, president of the BUET Teachers’ Association, said: “Our students are very sincere.They have cooperated with the university on a number of tasks, including recent admission tests. Their fellow mate had been killed. There is a human side to their movement. I hope that soon they will get back to their academic activities. At the end of the day, boycotting classes and exams will hurt our students.”

“In view of the demands of the students, the university has also formed an independent inquiry committee, comprising senior teachers from different departments.They may be quick to point out their observations and recommendations. If the accused are permanently expelled from the university, there’ll be no excuse not to join academic activities,” he further said.    

However, one of the spokesmen of protesting students, a 15th batch student of BUET, Sayem, said: “We will not return to classes based on the report of the ‘University Investigation Committee’. We will wait till the charge-sheet, and will return to classes after ensuring that those whose names are there will be permanently expelled from the university.”

Another student of the 15th batch of architecture, Tanmay Sarkar, said: “We are doing a logical movement for a safer campus. We do not want to share our campus with murderers. For this, some of our classes and exams are being disrupted. There is a possibility of session jam, but we are agitating for a greater cause. Our teachers are helpful enough. With their help, we will be able to overcome this clog quickly.”

An assistant professor of physics at BUET said: “Owing to the agitation, some session jam or deadlock may occur. This happened before. But we, the teachers and students, sincerely tried and overcame that.  And this time, the students did not have classes. They were to write ‘term tests’. So, it’s possible to overcome this temporary crisis by scheduling new tests.”

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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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