Jahangirnagar University Vice-Chancellor Prof M Anwar Hossain on Wednesday night said he decided not to press ahead with his resignation following requests from students.“I have withdrawn my previous decision to resign my post following requests of my students,” he told students in front of his residence.He had earlier made up his mind to step down following differences with the teachers over the mayhem unleashed on the campus allegedly by Islami Chhatra Shibir.The VC had said that he wanted to resign to give “due importance” to “what the teachers want”.The Teachers Association demanded Hossain’s resignation after acts of violence and vandalism on the university campus on Tuesday night.
Despite the Association’s demand, the students of the university urged the VC not to quit. They also demonstrated on the campus on Wednesday in support of their demand.
Several buildings, including the residence of the VC, and vehicles were vandalised in the violence after a student died on Tuesday evening.
Many including the VC have held Shibir responsible, alleging that the student affiliate of the Jamaat-e-Islami carried out the attacks taking advantage of the agitated students.
The Teachers Association questioned the VC’s claim, that the Islamist student group was responsible for the mayhem, at its meeting on Wednesday noon. They also demanded the VC’s resignation for what they termed his ‘failure’.
Later in the afternoon, a team of teachers, led by Association President Ajit Kumar Majumder and General Secretary Sharif Uddin met the Vice-Chancellor and asked him to resign.
At a press briefing after that, Prof Majumder said, “I hope the Vice-Chancellor will come to his senses and resign.”
However, after his meeting with the teachers, Vice-Chancellor Anwar Hossain said, “I want to resign. I want to give due importance to what the teachers want. I will finish the necessary formalities within today.”
“My ethics says I should not be in this post following the demand raised by the teachers. I will follow the proper procedure [for resignation] as I was elected as the Vice-Chancellor.”
He, however, was firm on his allegation that the Shibir was responsible for the mayhem on the campus on Tuesday.
“The conspiracy of Shibir runs deep. Even those teachers who have disputed my contention will know in no time that they were mistaken,” he said.
Students marched on the campus urging the VC not to resign, with most of the participants being activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League, student affiliate of ruling Awami League.
The students blockaded the Dhaka-Aricha highway at the university main gate area for 10 minutes. Then they positioned themselves in front of the Administration Building.
The violence on Tuesday night broke out after a student of the Statistics Department Abdul Malek, a resident of Maulana Bhasani Hall, died from heart disease. Students were agitated as there were no doctors and ambulance at the university’s medical centre, where he was initially admitted.
Later, duty doctors at Enam Medical College Hospital at Savar declared him dead when he was taken there.
Agitated students at first vandalised the Bhasani Hall Provost’s room and the medical centre.
Afterwards, the residences of several teachers and the residence of the VC was attacked.. Witnesses, mainly teachers and students, said many unknown people were seen during the attacks.
The attacks took place at a time when a “Waz” or Islamic lecture was being held at a village adjacent to the campus. BCL’s JU unit President Mahmudur Rahman Jony suspected that Shibir activists came from the Waz and carried out the attacks.
Prof Anwar Hossain was at a function at the Government Edward College in Pabna at that time. He started for Dhaka right after he heard of the attacks.
He had told bdnews24.com: “Shouting Allahu Akbar, Shibir activists have attacked my residence.”
Anwar Hossain is the younger brother of freedom fighter and one of the Sector Commanders of the Liberation War Col Abu Taher, Bir Uttam.
The former Biochemistry teacher of Dhaka University was also the President of Dhaka University Teachers’ Association before he was appointed to the JU on May 17 last year.
Prof Hossain was elected as the VC after his predecessor Prof Sharif Enamul Kabir was forced to resign, apparently by the government giving in to the pressure following months of protests by students and teachers over violence ithe campus and alleged irregularity in the appointment of teachers.
But most of the teachers did not welcome Prof Hossain as the new VC.
Earlier as the DUTA President, Prof Hossain supported the students during the students-army violence at Dhaka University in 2007 during the tenure of the last military-backed caretaker government. He was also tortured during the time.bdnews24.com