[An E-Bangladesh report.]
Teachers of Dhaka University will attend classes wearing black badges Sunday to demand immediate release of 12 imprisoned professors of Dhaka and Rajshahi University. They also demand immediate release of currently imprisoned university students. DU teachers will go forward with their protest plan Sunday and stage a sit-in in front of Aprajeyo Bangla Monday ignoring requests and threats from the military intelligence agency DGFI and the education adviser.
Earlier Saturday afternoon a three-member DGFI team — Brigadier General ATM Amin, Colonel Abu Saleh and Colonel Almas Raisul Ghani — met Dhaka University VC SMA Faiz, DUTA (Dhaka University Teachers Association) acting president Tazmeri SA Islam, acting general secretary Mamun Ahmed, Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique and Professor Muhammad Akhtaruzzaman. The meeting took place in DU Senate building. During the meeting the DGFI team tried persuading DUTA leaders to call off their protest programs. “They even issued veiled threats and warned of consequences,” a senior DUTA member, himself not present at the meeting, told an E-Bangladesh correspondent in Dhaka.
Later in the evening, education adviser, Aiyub Quadri, had a dialog with VC SMA Faiz, Professor Tazmeri Islam and Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique. He urged DUTA leaders to withdraw their protest program saying that the government will consider demands put forward by the teachers association. “His [Aiyub Quadri] approach was positive but noting concrete… we will go forward with our program as we have issued the government an ultimatum to release all the teachers and students by December 12,” a DUTA member told E-Bangladesh.
“Our program was chalked out at a general meeting Friday. We can not cancel it without the consent of another general meeting. Executive committee has decided to go forward with Sunday’s program,” DUTA acting president, Tazmeri Islam, told newsmen Saturday evening, emerging from an urgent one and half hour long DUTA executive committee meeting. “After today’s talks with the education adviser and army officials, we think government has taken a positive attitude towards the release of those detained. DUTA will hold another urgent general meeting Sunday evening to review the situation. That meeting will decide whether to continue the silent sit-in scheduled for Monday.”
Meanwhile, according to reports from DU campus, teachers are being threatened through anonymous phone calls and SMS, “Certain quarter is pressuring DU teachers not to wear black badges Sunday and not to state any sit-in Monday. Many senior DUTA members have received phone calls and SMS,” a DU professor told E-Bangladesh. He said he himself received two such calls asking him to refrain from wearing a black badge Sunday or participate in Monday’s sit-in. Another senior DU professor showed an E-Bangladesh correspondent a text message from an unknown number in his mobile that read: “Stop campus politics. Shut down your DUTA program.”