Bangladesh authorities call private universities after students’ link to militancy surface

The government has called a meeting with private university authorities after information on many of their students’ link to militancy surfaced.

Published : 11 July 2016, 02:33 PM
Updated : 11 July 2016, 09:16 PM

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal will preside over the meeting at Krishibid Institute Auditorium at 10:30pm on July 17.

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, police chief AKM Shahidul Hoque and other top officials of the security forces will also be present.

The home minister came to Nahid’s office on Monday to inform him about the meeting.

Dhaka City police chief Asaduzzaman Mia was also with Kamal.

Nahid, speaking to in the evening, said, “The home ministry and education ministry together will make the discussion a successful one.” 

The education minister did not disclose the details about the meeting.

Ninety-five private universities have government permission to operate -- eighty actually operate.

The government and parents are now concerned over youths going missing while studying in private universities as it emerges that some of those who carried out the recent attacks are from private universities.

Islamic State reportedly published photos of five gunmen who killed 22 in the Dhaka cafe attack. They were also gunned down during a raid to rescue the hostages.

A suspected militant was killed during a gunfight following attack on police guarding the Sholakia Eid congregation ground on July 7.

Of those six youths, four are from English medium schools for children of well-t0-do families.

Two of them were students of North South University and another of BRAC University.

They had been missing for months, their families said.

Seven of the eight convicted of murdering Ganajagaran Mancha activist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider were students of North South University.

Last year, an investigation team of the University Grants Commission found jihadi books of banned militant outfit Hizb-ut Tahrir in the library of the university.

Media reports say several teachers and students of the university were expelled for their links to militancy.

The government has asked the families to inform police if any of their young members has been missing. The educational institutions have also been asked to inform bout absentees.

A home ministry official, requesting anonymity as he did not have permission to speak, told chairmen of trustee boards, vice-chancellors, and representatives of students, teachers and guardians were asked to attend the meeting on July 17.

Representatives of some English medium schools, including Scholastica, will also be called, he said. Two of the Gulshan attackers were from the school.

“A total of 900 persons will be invited. The government will issue some instruction for them. Journalists will also be called,” the home ministry official said.

An education ministry official said Nahid will hold a meeting with the UGC chairman and other officials related to the issue on Tuesday.

He said the education ministry will also organise discussion with the authorities of the public universities later after the July 17 meeting.

“The education ministry will sit with different educational institutions gradually,” he added.