DU rally for withdrawal of Aug 2007 cases
Sunday, 24 August 2008

Calls it a 'Black Day'

Staff Correspondent

Dhaka University students and teachers on Saturday demanded the withdrawal of all cases filed against their fellows, in the days following campus unrest in Aug 2007, which are still pending trial in the High Court.

The demand was pressed from a solidarity rally at the foot of Aporajeyo Bangla, as the campus marked the anniversary of last year's campus crackdown on August 23 and following days, calling it a 'Black Day' and sporting black badges.
 
Social science dean Prof Harun-ur-Rashid said: "History will judge the government's actions in the August 23 events."
 
"We don't want any further conflict; we only want a genial academic atmosphere. The government must ensure that such incidents do not recur," he said.
 
Prof Harun, one of those arrested last year, alleged that students were still being harassed by the cases against them, and asked the government to cease the harassment.
 
Harun-ur–Rashid had earlier told bdnews24.com: "I am still shaken by those incidents last year. The arrest of teachers and its aftermath were very unfortunate following a silent demonstration of teachers."
 
"The government should have behaved in a more prudent way," he said.
 
Prof AAMS Arefin Siddiqui, of the journalism department, said: "DU students have sacrificed lives in the past for the sake of fundamental rights and democracy."
 
"As a guardian of students I urge the government to withdraw the cases so that their future is not destroyed," he said.
 
Siddiqui also asked the government to make arrangements for better medical treatment for those students still being detained.
 
Chhatra League central committee president, Mahmud Hassan Ripon said that the actions of the government last year had not been unexpected.
 
But he urged the government to withdraw all pending cases against the students and teachers.
 
The Dhaka University Teachers' Association (DUTA) had announced the Aug 23 anniversary programme on Friday.
 
"We are observing the day as a 'Black Day' as a mark of protest. This is our token protest," DUTA president and dean of the arts faculty Sadrul Amin told bdnews24.com Saturday.
 
Two senior DU professors Md Anwar Hossain and Harun-ur-Rashid were arrested on Aug 23, 2007, following violent clashes that erupted over the demand for withdrawal of an army camp from the campus.
 
The DUTA president Sadrul Amin, Prof Nimchandra Bhowmik and a number of students were arrested in following days.

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