Protests at Viqarunnisa Noon School against teacher accused of sexually harassing students

Murad Hossain is accused of sexually harassing some students at his private coaching centre in Azimpur

Published : 25 Feb 2024, 01:43 PM
Updated : 25 Feb 2024, 01:43 PM

Students of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College in Dhaka have demonstrated for around three hours outside their Azimpur branch, demanding the sacking and punishment of teacher Murad Hossain on sexual harassment charges. 

Joined by their parents in the human-chain protests starting on Sunday noon on Peelkhana Road in Lalbagh, the students carried placards and shouted slogans in support of their demands. 

Shabnaz Sania Kamal, head of the branch’s day shift, said the alleged victims had not spoken out because of fears of social ignominy. “No one had complained about the teacher. Everyone is speaking out now that the allegations have surfaced,” she said. 

Shabnaz promised to meet the students’ demands but they continued the protests. 

Acting Principal Keka Roy Chowdhury came to the branch after around two hours to placate the protesters. 

She said the authorities would take firm action after meeting the committee to investigate the allegations on Monday, but the protests continued for another hour. 

The parents organised a press conference at the National Press Club at 5pm after postponing the demonstration for the day.  

One of them said they were waiting to see what the institution decides to do after Monday’s meeting. 

They threatened to take legal action themselves and launch more protests if the authorities refused to act firmly against Murad. 

The senior mathematics teacher has been working in the school since 2010. He is accused of sexually harassing some of the students at his private coaching centre in Azimpur after developing good relations with them. 

After the media reported an investigation by the renowned institution, the matter drew huge attention from students and parents. 

Amid their anger, the school withdrew Murad and attached him to the principal’s office on Saturday, saying initial investigation suggested the allegations were true. 

“He has been transferred to another place, but we want his permanent removal through a notice, so that he cannot repeat such incidents in the name of teaching or private coaching,” said an 11th grader during the protests. 

An eighth grader said: “We’re not safe if he remains around. We want his permanent expulsion and punishment through trial.”