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SUST VC finally apologises over cop attack on students

Vice-Chancellor of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) Farid Uddin Ahmed expressed regret over the police action on protesting students on January 16.

“I express my sincere sympathy to all of those, including students, teachers and staff injured in the unwanted incident on that day,” he said in a press statement.

The statement reads: “I express my sincere regret over the incident and I also express my gratitude to the teachers, students and staff who are trying to overcome the stalemate.”

The VC expressed regret a day after Education Minister Dipu Moni visited the university on Saturday.

Farid Uddin Ahmed also thanked deputy education minister, the government officials concerned, Awami League leaders and members of law enforcement agencies, media workers who played a responsible role in restoring normalcy on the campus.

The VC also urged all to play their role in restoring the normal academic atmosphere and normal activities on the campus.

On Friday, the SUST agitating students reiterated their demand for the resignation of the Vice-Chancellor Farid Uddin at their meeting with Education Minister Dipu Moni.

Dipu Moni said the demand for the resignation of the VC will be placed before the President as he is the Chancellor of the university, holding the power to appoint and remove someone in the post of VC.
The students raised a total of eight demands, during the three-hour meeting with the education minister at the Circuit House in Sylhet on Friday.

A three-member ministerial team, led by Education Minister Dipu Moni, reached Sylhet Friday morning to hold talks with the SUST protesting students.

The students resumed their protests on Wednesday, after their demand for the removal of VC was not met. They are now calling for the resignation of the new proctor.

SUST Proctor Md Alamgir Kabir was relieved from his position on Thursday and replaced by Associate Professor Md Ishrat Ibne Ismail of the English department.

The protests began in the middle of January. And over two dozen SUST students who went on fast unto death ended their strike on January 26. They broke the fast after former SUST Prof Zafar Iqbal offered them water to drink.

The students embarked on the hunger strike on the university campus on January 19, demanding the resignation of the VC over the police crackdown on their fellows.

The strike was launched after police swooped on the protesting students, charging batons and firing sound grenades and shotgun bullets. On the other hand, the police had filed a case against 300 unnamed protesting students.

The alleged attack was carried out to free the VC from confinement in the university’s IICT building, and it had left 40 people hurt, including teachers, students and cops.

Zafrin Ahmed, a provost of Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall, was at the centre of the initial unrest as she allegedly misbehaved with some students on January 13 when they met her with some complaints.

She later resigned from her post, citing health issues.