Provost delivers DU student to police for being ‘anti-govt’

A Dhaka University student was handed over to the police on Thursday night by the authorities following his messenger chat that went allegedly against the current government.

Meftahul Maruf, a third-year student of the political science department, was turned over to the Shahbagh police station in the capital by Md Billal Hossain, provost of Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall, who accused Maruf to be an ‘anti-government’ element.

Maruf was kept under detention for more than 12 hours in the police station, his fellows said.

Later, on Friday, the police handed back the student to Professor Aynul Islam of the political science department after taking an undertaking from the student.

Provost Billal Hossain justified his action, saying that the authorities delivered Maruf to the police after their own inquiry.

Mowdud Hawlader, officer in-charge of the Shahbag police station, said that they carried out an inquiry into the accusation against the student in his home town in northern Rangpur and found that his family members were associated with both the major political parties of the country (the ruling Awami League and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party).

He said, ‘The comments he made are purely his personal opinion.’

DU proctor AKM Golam Rabbani did not make any comment on the incident but referred the matter to the hall administration.

While Maruf was returning from the police station along with his fellows on Friday, some activists of pro-AL Bangladesh Chhatra League attacked Chhatra Odhikar Parishad leaders near the DU central mosque.

During the attack, the BCL activists also beat up Students Against Torture founder Saleh Uddin Sifat, its co-founder Ahnaf Sayeed khan and Odhikar Parishad social media secretary Abdul Kader, among others.

However, BCL DU unit general secretary Saddam Hossain denied the allegation, saying that there was no question of his followers getting involved in the incident.

Later in the day, Students Against Torture and Chhatra Odhikar Parishad staged a demonstration on the university campus protesting at the handover of Meftahul Maruf for making an opinion and at the attack on others.

Odhikar Parishad demanded the resignation of Professor Billal Hossain and gave a 48-hour ultimatum for his resignation.

Samajtantrik Chhatra Front in a statement also later protested at the act of handing over the student over his private chat.

The statement said that the act reflected the sorry state of the absence of democracy at the university.

‘It is not the job of the university authorities to look for the political identities of the students,’ said the statement, calling for action against provost Billal Hossain.


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