August 22, 2016 - 8:19pm
The students of Jagannath University (JnU), who have been on the streets demanding new residential halls, have now announced that they will continue their strike on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Following two days of abstention from classes and tests, they made the call after being barred by police from marching to the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka, where they planned to submit a memorandum containing their demands.
Earlier around 2pm on Monday, Rashedul Islam, Raisul Islam Nayan, and Safiqul Islam, on behalf of the protestors, made the announcement of an indefinite strike through a media statement.
Nayan had told bdnews24.com at the time, “In protest against the heinous attack by police, we will go for an indefinite strike from tomorrow, boycotting all classes and examinations.”
“The strike will continue until a specific order comes from the prime minister,” he said.
But an hour later, Nayan said the previous announcement was made by mistake, and the strike would continue for two more days –Tuesday and Wednesday.
Around 10am in the morning, police obstructed a procession of thousands of students at Bangshal intersection. The law enforcers then fired blank shots and lobbed teargas shells to disperse them.
The students claimed that police had wielded batons on them.
Then their demonstration in the capital’s Nayabazar intersection kept traffic blocked in the area, leading to severe gridlocks in the surrounding areas in the afternoon.
The students, however, returned to campus in Old Dhaka around 2:15pm, when normal traffic resumed.
The students earlier in the morning had locked the gates of all buildings in the university before taking out the procession.
But as soon as they reached the Bangshal intersection, having removed police barricades at the Shankharibazar and Roy Shaheb Bazar intersections, the law enforcers lobbed teargas shells, opened fire and charged batons on them, claimed the protestors.
The procession then made its way back to Nayabazar.
Nayan said an accounting department student of the 10th batch had been shot and was admitted to Sumona Hospital while many others were injured.
He said another economics department student named Mithun Roy had been injured and was later admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
The OCs of Kotwali and Bangshal polic stations could not be reached for their comments on the students’ allegations.
However, Kotwali zone Assistant Commissioner Shahen Shah admitted that police had lobbed teargas shells to disperse the protesters and bring the situation under control.
JnU students have been demonstrating since Aug 2 demanding the construction of new residential halls at the spot where the Dhaka Central Jail was previously situated on Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka.
Last Wednesday, the students were barred by police while trying to lay a siege to the education ministry. They had abstained from classes and tests at the university on Thursday and Sunday.]