Sunday, August 16, 2009

Asian University's Rajshahi campus shut after clash

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Asian University of Bangladesh (AUB) in Rajshahi was closed sine die yesterday following a clash between students and police that left at least 35 people injured.

The clash ensued as students put a barricade on the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway demanding that the AUB authorities produce valid documents of government approval.

AUB students said the Rajshahi campus of the varsity has no government approval and as the authorities failed to produce any valid papers, the legality of the university was questionable.

At around 9.30am students boycotted their scheduled examinations and came out in their hundreds. The examinees along with other students marched in a procession on the campus and challenged the authorities whether they had any legal authority to run the campus.

The angry students were not satisfied with the answer the AUB authorities gave and put a barricade on the Rajshahi-Dhaka highway at around 10am.

The students staged a sit-in there for one and a half hours and as they refused to leave the road, police charged them with batons.

The protesters also hurled brickbats at police in retaliation. The chase and counter-chase that followed in the Talaimari areas left at least 35 students injured.

At around 1:00pm AUB authorities cancelled the scheduled examinations and closed the varsity for an indefinite period.

The agitating students then went to the city centre at Shaheb Bazar and formed a human chain there protesting the police action on them.

They demanded the government take action against AUB authorities for the illegal operation of the university for which students are being cheated.

"We have closed the university for an indefinite period and cancelled all examinations and classes", said Manjur-e-Elahi, deputy registrar and in-charge of AUB's Rajshahi campus.

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