Traffic in disarray as students block Dhaka city road

Students of seven colleges, recently affiliated to DU, stage protest in Dhaka on Sunday to press their demands. — Sanaul Haque

Several hundred students of seven colleges recently affiliated to Dhaka University on Sunday blocked the New Market intersection in the capital for more than eight hours pressing their demands including publishing of results of their honours final examinations without any delay.
Police said the students took to the streets about 9:30am and continued their protests until 6:00pm, causing daylong public suffering on the roads in New Market, Azimpur, Dhanmondi and Elephant Road areas, among others, on the first working day after the weekends.
Police’s New Market zone senior assistant commissioner Sazzad Raihan said the protestors left the street about 6:00pm after the Bangladesh Chhatra League leadership assured of a meeting to be held with the vice-chancellor today over how the results could be publish without any delay.

A microbus drives against the traffic at Bangla Motors crossing in Dhaka on Sunday despite repeated drives against such traffic rule violations. — Indrajit Ghosh

Sazzad said Dhaka University vice-chancellor Professor Md Akhtaruzzaman visited them towards noon and assured that their results would be published soon but they did not leave the street on his promise, continuing the protests until evening.
The meeting with the VC was scheduled for 11:00am today, the BCL leaders said.
The VC told New Age that the results of the second and fourth years would be published by November as the university had already published the third year’s exam schedule which would begin on October 23.
He further said ‘it was a great mistake to affiliate the colleges without proper preparations’.
The students demonstration caused traffic congestion for the rest of the day as the vehicles heading towards New Market were diverted to others direction.
Traffic remained halted as hundreds of students from the colleges started demonstrating around 9:00am blocking the major intersection which triggered tailbacks on the New Market road and it gradually spread to the surrounding areas.
The seven DU affiliated colleges are Dhaka College, Eden Mohila College, Government Shaheed Suhrawardy College, Kabi Nazrul Government College, Begum Badrunnesa Government Mohila College, Mirpur Government Bangla College and Government Titumir College.
A huge number of police personnel were deployed in the area.
Their other demands included withdrawal of the cases against 1,200 students of the colleges, which were filed during their earlier movement, publishing results of the second and fourth year examinations, announcement of the schedule of the third year exam, a new academic calendar and separate websites for all the seven colleges.
Raju Hossain, a protester from Dhaka College, said their protest was peaceful and the authorities should listen to their just demands immediately.
Another protester from Eden College said while fourth year students of National University-affiliated colleges got their result in May but students of the seven colleges were yet to get their result, which held them back from applying for jobs.
Meanwhile, Dhaka University on Sunday announced examination timetable for the third year students of the affiliated seven colleges after students took to the streets for exam dates.
According to a press release issued by the University on Sunday, the exams will start on October 23.
On February 16, the seven old government colleges became affiliated to university once again.
The re-affiliation followed a directive of the education ministry after prime minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier declared that all such colleges would come under public university systems to enhance their quality of education.
As per the decision, all activities of theses colleges, including, admission process, holding of examinations and developing academic syllabuses should be conducted by DU.
Earlier on July 21, at least 10 students were injured as police charged batons and fired tear gas shells to disperse students of the seven colleges as they set off a procession from Shahbagh in Dhaka demanding exam timetable.
Titumir College student Siddiqur Rahman was shot in the eyes by a policeman during the protest and lost his sights.

Source: New Age