Sirajganj Correspondent: Farhana Yeasmin, the chairperson of the Cultural Heritage and Bangladesh Studies Department at Rabindra University in Sirajganj, has stepped down from three positions amid protests over the forced haircuts of 16 students.
Following the decision of the university’s board of directors, Yeasmin left her positions as the chairperson of the Cultural Heritage and Bangladesh Studies Department, assistant proctor and a member of the proctorial board on Tuesday, Prof Md Abdul Latif, acting vice-chancellor and treasurer of the university, said.
“A five-member committee has also been formed to probe the incident. The committee has been asked to submit a report within the next seven days.”
Yeasmin could not be reached for comment.
However, the students vowed to continue protests until the permanent removal of the teacher, claiming that Yeasmin had previously scolded a group of male students for having long hair.
She was seen standing with a pair of scissors in front of an exam hall where first-year students sat for the final test on Sept 26. She stopped the students with hair exceeding her fist length. Later, she chopped the hair of 16 students at the entrance.
Later, the students were forced to sit for the exam. Some students among them shaved their heads after returning to the dormitories. Yeasmin called the students to her offices and threatened to expel them from the university after the victims took to Facebook to protest forced haircuts.
One of the victims tried to commit suicide out of humiliation by taking sleeping pills a day after the incident. He was admitted to Khwaja Yunus Ali Medical College in Enayetpur, said Laila Ferdous Himel of the Rabindra Studies Department.
A student claimed on social media that the students became agitated after they found out that the examination routine was set for seven consecutive days and they decided to submit an application to reschedule the tests.
But before the exam on Sept 26, the department head asked the university staff to bar those with long hair.
Agitated students launched a protest demanding the permanent removal of Yeasmin from the university on Sep 27.
The protesters threatened to launch a hunger strike against her from Wednesday if their demand was not met.
“The permanent removal of the teacher is not possible immediately. The incident needs to be investigated first. Besides, the university has no vice-chancellor right now. I hope the students will understand that Yeasmin has already been removed from her posts,” Latif said.
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