Jagannath University students to continue strike for residential halls on Sunday
JnU Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-08-18 15:30:48.0 BdST Updated: 2016-08-18 15:33:11.0 BdST
Agitating students of Jagannath University (JnU) have announced to continue their strike on campus on Sunday to back their demand for new residential halls.
Thousands of students abstained from classes and tests on Thursday at JnU. On their behalf, political science department student Shahed Islam Badal announced continuing the agitation on Sunday.
He told reporters, “We’ll continue the movement until our demand is met.”
Badal said they will go to the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday if the university authorities or the government does not respond to their demand by Sunday.
The students had gathered in the streets in front of the university after locking the main gate in the morning.
They demonstrated amidst rain after taking over the streets at the Bahadur Shah Park and Judge Court area.
Their protests led to massive gridlock in areas of Old Dhaka adjacent to the university.
No department was seen conducting any tests while most of the classrooms were found empty since morning.
JnU Proctor Nur Mohammad told bdnews24.com: “We want the students to carry on their movement peacefully while continuing the classes and sitting for tests. But they are not listening to us.”
The students announced the strike for Thursday from a demonstration in front of the National Press Club on Wednesday.
But all of them had been taken over by influential locals.
As the students’ movement grew bigger in 2009, the government started to take initiative to recover the halls.
But despite recommendations from the land ministry, Dhaka district administration did not take steps to hand over ownership of several halls to the university authorities.
Two of the halls were recovered in 2011 and 2014, but they are yet to be renovated for use.
Another hall is still occupied by a local influential, but there is no plan afoot to get it back.
The university authorities have also been planning to build two new halls, but there is no progress.
Eight other residential halls of the college-turned-university were shut down following a home ministry order in 1985.
JnU students have been demonstrating since Aug 2 demanding allotment of lands at the prison premises in Old Dhaka to build their new halls.
Authorities have shifted the inmates late last month to the new premises in Keraniganj.
The university authorities had applied to the home secretary for the land in 2014.
JnU Vice-Chancellor Mizanur Rahman said they have also pleaded with the prime minister and other senior officials of the government for that land on Aug 14 in the backdrop of the renewed students’ movement.
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