Sexual harassment: University female students call off demonstration

The university’s Registrar assured the students that they would meet the protestor's demands within four days.


Photo: Naimur Rahman

July 21, 2022

DHAKA – The female students of Chittagong University, who have been demonstrating on campus since 9:30pm last night (July 20, 2022), have called off their protest after the university authorities assured them of meeting their demands within four days.

Demanding justice for sexual harassment of a female student and a safe campus for all, female students of the university observed a sit-in programme in front of the vice-chancellor residence.

After observing the demonstration for four hours, they called off their demonstration at 12:30am, reports our Chattogram correspondent from the spot.

CU Registrar Professor SM Monirul Hasan rushed to the spot and expressed solidarity with the protesting students and assured them of meeting their demands.

Later, the protesters placed their four-point demand to the registrar. He assured them of fulfilling their demands within four days otherwise he would resign from his post.

The four demands are: to provide security to the students round the clock and cancel the deadline in entering dormitories; to form strong sexual harassment cell after cancelling the existing one and complete the trial procedures within one month, to complete the trial of unresolved sexual harassment cases lodged with the cell, and to remove the proctorial body if they could not ensure justice within four working days regarding the latest sexual harassment case.

Around 9:30pm last night, female students of Pritilata Hall first brought out a procession at around and was heading to CU Central Shaheed Minar but faced obstructions from university’s proctorial body.

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Photo: Naimur Rahman

Later, female residential students of three halls joined the protesting students and took position in front of the VC residence, defying the obstruction.

They chanted slogans demanding justice for sexual harassment and safe campus for students.

The female students also demanded to cancel the newly adopted decision for female students to enter the halls within 10pm.

Ashrafi Nitu, who is leading the protest, said, they would go for tougher movement if the authority did not meet their demands within the stipulated time.

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Photo: Naimur Rahman

Blaming the culture of impunity for the latest sexual harassment case, she said, “If the administration had taken steps in the earlier incidents of sexual harassments and tried them, we would not have seen such an incident”.

Around 9:30pm on July 17, two students — one female and another male — were on their way to the dormitory at the CU campus when five unidentified youths accosted them and forced them into the Botanical Garden area.

There, the men tried to rape the female and, assaulted both of them physically. Then they forcefully tore off the clothes of the female student and recorded the incident in a video,threatening to release it on social media.

Without identifying the accused, the university authority after the incident adopted a decision for female students to enter their dormitories by 10pm.

Meanwhile, one of the victims filed a case under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act this afternoon against several unidentified accused with Hathazari Police Station in connection with the incident, our Chattogram staff correspondent reports quoting Ruhul Amin, officer-in-charge of the station.

As of today, the university administration as well as police could not identify anyone involved in the incident.

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