Vol. 5 Num 558 Wed. December 21, 2005  

RU VC's remarks against newsmen spark protest

Journalists at Rajshahi University yesterday staged a demonstration on the campus by covering their faces with black cloths in protest against the Vice Chancellor's 'objectionable remarks' against them for reports on leakage of fist year admission test questions.

They brought out a procession on the campus and held a rally in front of the Central Library, demanding removal of the VC.

Speakers at the rally said the VC lost his right to retain his position as he "threatened" journalists for reporting on "irregularities by the university authorities".

They also announced that they would go for tougher agitation if the VC does not regret his remarks within 48 hours.

The journalists will form a human chain today and observe token hunger strike in front of Central Library tomorrow protesting the VC's remakes.

Yesterday's rally was addressed by, among others, Mansurul Alam (local daily Sonali Sangbad), Abdus Sattar (Nayadigantho), Anisuzzman Ujjal (Amar Desh), Shahidul Islam (Janankantho), Rajshahi University Photojournalist Association General Secretary Zabid Apu, Jahangir Alam Akash (Sangbad) and Belal Hossain (Financial Express).

Meanwhile, the Progressive Teachers Association (PTA), Rajshahi unit of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalist (BFUJ), Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), Samajtrantrik Chhatra Front (SCF), Chhatra Union, Chhatra Federation and some local cultural organisations also protested the VC's comments and expressed solidarity with journalists.

RU VC Prof Altaf Hossain on Monday threatened a group of journalists of punitive action including cancellation of studentship for "reporting against the authorities".

The VC allegedly misbehaved with journalists when they wanted to meet him to inquire about leakage of questions.

He also threatened of formulating a new law to regulate "reporting against the authorities and tarnishing image of the university".

"It is you (journalists) who are responsible for question leakage. There is no question leakage. I will formulate fresh law in the Syndicate to cancel your studentship", the VC was quoted as telling the journalists.

The journalists inquired about allegations of involvement of some Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) and Ialamic Chhatra Shibir (ICS) leaders in the recent leakage of admission test questions of History, Islamic History and Culture and Folklore departments.

Mentionably, RU Proctor Prof Shamsul Islam Sarker on Sunday caught RU JCD Joint Convenor Ezazul Haque Miraj and four admission-seekers -- Abu Kawsar, Md Sayem, Rasel Hossain and Sabuj Ahmed-- with leaked questions at Muder Bux Hall.

They were later released on an undertaking that they will not be engaged in such activities any more.

Journalists at Rajshahi University brought out a procession on the campus by covering their faces with black cloth yesterday to protest the Vcs remarks against them for reports on question leakage. PHOTO: STAR