The students of Jahangirnagar University have started a protest on their campus today to press several demands, a day after some fellow students were attacked by the locals of adjacent Gerua village.
The agitating students first broke the locks of Al Beruni Hall and Mir Mosharraf Hossain Hall on Saturday noon. Later, they also broke the locks of eight other halls allocated for the girls.
At around 10:30 am, more than 500 students marched from the Central Shaheed Minar of the university and took position in front of the vice-chancellor's residence.
They demanded that the proctor should apologise for failing to provide security to students and negligence during the clash, and resign.
They also demanded the arrest of the attackers within seven days.
Their demands to the university authorities include - providing full facilities at the halls, and paying the medical expenses of the injured students. A permanent wall has to be constructed adjacent to Gerua area as well.
The university's proctorial team has also taken position in front of the vice-chancellor's residence. Police have been deployed there to avoid any untoward situation.
Afnan Sadiq, a student in the Department of Philosophy, told TBS, "The administration has failed to provide us with security. We gave an ultimatum to the administration to open the hall by 12 noon, but they did not pay heed to the demand. So we broke the locks."
Nur Hossain Naeem, a student in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, told TBS, "The clashes lasted for four hours on Friday night. But the role of the administration and the police in the university is mysterious. The administration has been informed about the local criminals and juvenile gangs before, but no action has been taken."
Regarding breaking the locks of the halls, Professor Bashir Ahmed said, "At the moment, the administration has no intention of opening the university and the halls defying the government's decision. We are monitoring the situation."
Acting Proctor of the university ASM Feroz-ul-Hasan said, "The university administration is bearing the cost of treatment of the students injured in the attack by the locals. We have also a plan to construct a permanent gate at the junction of Gerua with the university. However, the demand to open the halls cannot be accepted without the decision of the government. The breaking and entering the halls has been an inhumane decision."
Meanwhile, the JU unit Chhatra League has already joined the protest with a procession and Chhatra Dal has expressed solidarity in a written statement. Besides, all progressive, social and cultural organisations have expressed solidarity with the protest.
Tensions were still high between local villagers and students at the time this report was being filed on Saturday afternoon.
On Friday night, a group of people incited the locals using the loudspeaker of the local mosque and urged them to arm with 'whatever they have' to attack students to 'protect their honour' centred on a cricket tournament in the Gerua village adjacent to Jahangirnagar University. At least 35 students were injured in the clash.