Islamic University expels 5 students over torture allegations

Chhatra League expelled the leaders from the organisation following a separate investigation

Published : 21 August 2023, 05:30 PM
Updated : 21 August 2023, 05:30 PM

Islamic University has expelled five students, who were earlier expelled by Bangladesh Chhatra League for their involvement in torturing and humiliating a fresher at a residential hall.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the university’s syndicate on Monday after an investigation following a High Court order, said HM Ali Hasan, IU's acting registrar.

The university will formally inform the court about the decision on Wednesday, Hasan said.

The expelled students are Sanjida Antora Chowdhury, who was a vice-president of the BCL’s Islamic University unit, and her associates Tabassum Islam, Mawabia Jahan, Ishrat Jahan Mimi, and Halima Akhtar Urmi.

Sanjida and her associates have been accused of locking a first-year student in a room at Deshratna Sheikh Hasina Hall and abusing her physically for nearly four hours from around midnight on Feb 12.

The victim said the Chhatra League leaders also undressed her and filmed her in that state. In addition to the physical and mental torture, they also threatened to kill her if she reported the incident to anyone.

The university investigated the incident following a High Court order and banned the five students from the residential halls.

Chhatra League expelled the leaders from the organisation following a separate investigation.

Their student status had been temporarily revoked for a year, following the findings of both the university's investigation committee and the High Court's judicial investigation committee.

This is the strictest punishment according to the rules, the university stated. During this time, they cannot participate in university activities, including classes and exams.

Advocate Gazi Md Mohsin, who filed a writ petition seeking punishment of the five students, raised the issue in court, stating that the university's disciplinary committee had suspended the students in violation of the procedure.

He told the court that only the university's vice-chancellor has the authority to punish students for any wrongdoing, not the disciplinary committee. Thus, if the penalty's legitimacy is challenged in court, it may be cancelled.

The High Court then inquired about how the five students were suspended due to allegations of torture.

Later, Deputy Attorney General BM Abdur Rafell submitted a report to the High Court, stating that the university's disciplinary committee had given the strictest penalty to the students following the appropriate procedure.

The victim was on the campus during the university's syndicate meeting.

"I am happy with the IU authorities' decision. However, the students who received penalties have considerable influence, and I hope the authorities will ensure my safety and prevent any intimidation from them," she said.