Vol. 5 Num 689 Mon. May 08, 2006  

Alleged Sexual Abuse
Strike at RU for teacher's removal

Classes and examinations were not held at Rajshahi University as students of Botany department enforced a strike on the campus demanding removal of a teacher for alleged sexual harassment of a female student of the department.

The Botany students under the banner of General Students Council also locked the administrative building for several hours from about 9 am, staged a sit-in and held a rally there.

Speakers at the rally threatened of tougher agitation including an indefinite strike on the campus if the probe committee report is not made public within 24 hours and accused teacher-- Prof Nurul Amanis not removed.

RU units of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Progotishil Chhatra Jote (PCJ) also brought out separate processions and held rallies on the campus expressing solidarity with the demand of Botany students and their programmes.

Agitated students ransacked four shops at the university stadium market and forced postponement of a scheduled examination in Fine Arts department. Two teachers of the department were allegedly assaulted during the melee, campus sources said.

Presence of students on the campus was thin as university buses did not play on any route.

On April 7, a fourth-year female student of Botany lodged a written complaint to department's chairman Prof Shah Alam that she was sexually abused by Prof Nurul Aman inside the laboratory.

On Saturday, students of the department confined RU Vice-chancellor (VC) Prof Altaf Hossain at his office for six hours to press the demand for removal of the accused teacher.

Earlier, they boycotted classes and staged demonstrations and paraded the campus streets on several occasions.

When contacted, probe committee convener and science faculty Dean Prof Abul Hassem said he is still probing the allegation against Prof Nurul Aman.