Protests rage as police, DU find no trace of harassment perpetrators

protest harassment

Both the police and the Dhaka University authorities could not make any headway in identifying the persons who had preyed on women on the Dhaka University campus during Pahela Baishakh celebrations, three days after the incident that shamed the nation.

The police said they were continuing the investigation, but the Dhaka University authorities till Friday evening did not take any move to investigate the incident and identify the culprits.

The authorities of Jahangirnagar University, however, on Friday afternoon expelled eight students for their alleged involvement in sexual harassment of a female student on the night of Pahela Baishakh.

Teachers and students of Dhaka University staged demonstrations on Friday protesting at the incident and demanded removal of the university proctor for his inaction.  The protesters announced fresh programmes.
Asked if action has been taken against a student of Jagannath University for allegedly harassing a female student on a university bus on Tuesday, acting proctor Nur Mohammad, said that the authorities were yet to receive any complaints. Jagannath University students beat up Chhatra League activist Nazmul for harassing the female student.

KM Saidul Huq Bhuiyan, inspector (investigation) of Ramna police, said that the police had scrutinised the CCTV footage but there were ‘no signs’ that women had been assaulted in the TSC area though hundreds of people watched a group of thugs prey on women during the merry celebrations.

The High Court on Thursday asked the police and the Dhaka University authorities to submit reports to the court in a month about actions taken against the perpetrators of sexual harassment of women on the campus during Bangla New Year celebrations.

On Friday, Bangladesh Chhatra Union organised a teacher-student-people solidarity rally and a faction of Bangladesh Chhatra Federation marched in a procession on the Dhaka University campus protesting at the sexual harassment of women in the TSC area during Pahela Baishakh celebrations and demanded removal of the university proctor.

Chhatra Union at the rally at Raju Memorial Monument announced a series of protest programmes, including countrywide demonstrations on April 19, human chain from Dhaka University Curzon Hall to Aparajeya Bangla on April 20, and submission of a memorandum to the home ministry on April 21. The organisation will also hold a news conference on Saturday to inform the media of the latest situation.

The rally placed a six-point demand, including exemplary punishment of the perpetrators of the attack and framing of laws to prevent sexual harassment at universities and a national policy against sexual harassment at home, workplaces and educational institutions.

Chhatra Union president Hasan Tarek announced the programmes and demands.

Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Goshthi president and columnist Kamal Lohani, National Committee to Protect Oil Gas Mineral Resources Power and Ports member-secretary Anu Muhammad, Communist Party of Bangladesh presidium member Laxmi Chakrabarty, Dhaka University teachers Kabery Gayen, Fahmidul Haque, Jagannath University teachers Rajib Meer, film director Chayanika Chowdhury, singer Sayan and Bilobi Nari Sanghati coordinator Shyamoli Shil, among others, spoke at the programme.

Kamal lohani said that police did not take action and the proctor was playing chess on computer when the thugs were harassing women on the campus. Anu Muhammad said that the DU authorities were making confusing statements apparently in a bid to save the culprits but they could not avoid the responsibility for the shameful event on the campus.

Abdullah Al Kafi, the CPB-supported mayoral candidate for Dhaka North city corporation, declared that he would begin a sit-in in front of the office of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner on Saturday morning in protest at the sexual assault on women.

New Age JU correspondent reported that the authorities of Jahangirnagar University on Friday afternoon expelled eight students temporarily for their alleged involvement in the sexual harassment of a female student on the night of Pahela Baishakh.

The expelled students have been identified as Nishat Imtiaz Bijoy of journalism and media studies department, Nafiz Imtiaz of chemistry, Abdur Rahman Ifti and Nurul Kabir of anthropology, Raquib of geography and environment, Ashraf of history department, Bikas of Zoolgy and Arnab of chemistry department. All eight are leader and activists of JU unit BCL and the residents of Shaheed Salam Barkat hall, JU registrar Abu Bakar Siddaque told New Age. Farzana Islam, vice-chancellor of Jahangirnagar University, expelled them exercising her authority according to the university disciplinary board Act-8.

Teachers and students of JU under the banner of Sikkhak-Sikkharthi Oikya Mancha announced that they would form a human chain demanding permanent expulsion of the culprits. On Thursday, Bangladesh Chhatra League JU unit expelled five leaders and activists – Nishat Imtiaz Bijoy of journalism and media studies, Nafiz Imtiaz of chemistry, Abdur Rahman Ifti and Nurul Kabir of anthropology and Raquib of geography and environment from the organisation as their primary investigation had found their involvement in the incident.

On Tuesday night, five to eight activists of BCL JU unit sexually harassed an indigenous female student on the campus.

Source: New Age