Withdrawal of case against 13 RU students demanded

Rajshahi University teachers and students observed “Student-Teacher Repression Day” yesterday, calling upon the government and authorities concerned to withdraw the case filed against 13 RU students over the August 22, 2007 unrest on the campus.
That day, law enforcers assaulted RU teachers, students and staff who were protesting an assault by army men on some Dhaka University students during a football match on the DU university central playground two days ago.
The day is observed on August 24 but this year the RU authorities shifted it to August 30 (yesterday) due to Eid vacation.
Yesterday’s programmes began with a protest procession around 10:15am, participated by some 300 teachers, students and staff led by Vice-Chancellor Prof Abdus Sobhan, which paraded the campus streets.
Afterwards a rally was organised before the Senate Bhaban where the speakers lamented that the case filed after the unrest was not withdrawn though the ones filed against the DU students and teachers were withdrawn.
The case must be withdrawn to ease the suffering of the 13 students and ensure them a normal life, they said.
Highlighting the army and police repression following the unrest, the speakers demanded exemplary punishment to the law enforcers who carried out the assault.
At the start of the rally, the RU authorities paid respect to the assault victims with bouquets.
The victims include Prof Abdus Sobhan, Prof Malay Bhowmick, Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan, Prof Golam Sabbir Sattar and the then RU unit Bangladesh Students’ Union president Abu Sayeem and Bangladesh Chhatra League general secretary Ain Uddin.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK and RU’s former VC Prof Saidur Rahman Khan also spoke at the discussion through a mobile phone call. RU Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof Muhammad Nurullah presided over the discussion.
After the assault on the DU students on August 20, thousands of students took to the streets and demanded withdrawal of an army camp from the DU gymnasium and an apology from the troops.
Over the next two days, law enforcers and students clashed on the campus, leaving over 250 people wounded, mostly students.
The student unrest then swept through other educational institutions, including RU.
The then army-backed caretaker government imposed a curfew on the divisional cities and later arrested four DU teachers–Prof Anwar Hossain, Prof Sadrul Amin, Prof Harun-or-Rashid and Prof Neem Chandra Bhowmick and several students.
Following the unrest on RU campus on August 22, the caretaker government arrested some RU teachers and filed cases against them. The teachers were also tortured at a Joint Interrogation Cell in Rajshahi city.
The victims include Prof Saidur Rahman Khan, Prof Abdus Sobhan, Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan, Prof Golam Sabbir Sattar, Prof Moloy Bhowmik, Associate Prof Dulal Chandra Biswas, Associate Prof Sayed Selim Reza Newton and Assistant Prof Abdullah Al Mamun.
On August 23, 2007, RU acting registrar Prof Muhammad Shafi filed a case against the 13 students by name and 500 other unnamed for their alleged involvement in the unrest.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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