Tense silence descends on BUET campus

Although there is an exam scheduled for Wednesday, students say they are unsure whether they will sit for it

Dhaka University Correspondent
Published : 2 April 2024, 10:24 AM
Updated : 2 April 2024, 10:24 AM

The atmosphere is tense at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) campus following the High Court’s order to suspend its ban on student politics.

At 11:30am on Tuesday, the campus was largely empty with few students in sight. Although the university’s administration work was ongoing, no classes or exams were being held.

The university’s security guard told bdnews24.com: “No students have entered the building to attend their classes in the last four days.”

According to the students, pupils are not showing up on campus since regular class activities have been disrupted. Although there is an exam scheduled for Wednesday, the students are unsure whether they will sit for the exam.

The remaining exams will be held after Eid as holidays begin on Apr 4, said Prof Md Imamul Hasan Bhuiyan, the university’s exam controller.

According to Prof Bhuiyan, students did not sit for the exams on Mar 30 and Mar 31.

When asked when the exams will be rescheduled, he told bdnews24.com, “We will schedule the exams per the instructions of the academic council.”

Student politics was barred by an ‘emergency notice’ from the BUET administration following the death of Abrar Farhad, a student who was beaten to death in October 2019.

Since then, student politics have been banned on the campus for the last four and a half years.

The university erupted in protest when several Chhatra League leaders visited the campus at the invitation of the organisation’s activist Imtiaz Hossain Rahim last week.

According to the students, Imtiaz Hossain Rahim, a student of the 21st batch in the civil engineering department and member of the central Chhatra League committee, organised the event.

Following the incident, the student protesters held a press conference in front of the BUET Shaheed Minar on Mar 29. They also boycotted all academic activities, including term finals, on Mar 30 and Mar 31, to protest the incident.

Later, Imtiaz’s hall seat was scrapped by BUET administration officials.

An investigative committee was also formed to look into the matter and was asked to submit a report by Apr 8.

Meanwhile, the Chhatra League held demonstrations and gatherings to protest Imtiaz’s suspension. A rally was also held at the Central Shaheed Minar on Mar 31, demanding the return of student politics to the BUET campus.

Following the ban, BUET student Imtiaz Hossain Rahim filed a petition with the High Court challenging the notice.

The bench of Justice Md Khasruzzaman and Justice KM Zahid Sarwar issued an order to lift the ban on Monday, reigniting concerns of abuse of power and conflict over campus supremacy that has previously led to deaths on campus.

BUET Vice-Chancellow Satya Prasad Majumder said: “We have to accept what the court decides. The order of the court is final. We cannot defy it.”