Charges framed against 4 Dhaka Univ teachers, students

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Dhaka, Dec 13 (UNI) A Dhaka court has framed charges against four teachers and 15 students of Dhaka University (DU) for breaching the emergency power rules during the August violence on campus.

Two Rajshahi University (RU) teachers and an official were acquitted yesterday on charges of torching a DGFI vehicle on August 22 while 10 students and an employee each were sentenced to three years' rigorous imprisonment, The Daily Star reported today.

The court rejected the discharge petitions filed by the detainees, DU Teachers Association (Duta) President Sadrul Amin, General Secretary Anwar Hossain, social science Dean Harun-or-Rashid, Chairman of Applied Physics department Neem Chandra Bhowmik and student Moniruzzaman.

The courts framed the charges yesterday at a time when the University community was expecting unconditional release of the teachers and students. Earlier on Saturday, in a bid to defuse tension on the campus, the government assured the teachers' representatives that the detainees would be freed in two weeks.

Teachers have expressed frustration over the charge framing and said it all might lead to an uneasy situation on the campus. It might take longer than what they had expected to have their colleagues and students freed, they added.

The case was filed with Shahbagh Police Station against some 4,000 unnamed students, teachers and outsiders for vandalism, obstruction and attack on the law enforcers on duty at different points across the campus on August 22.

Besides sentencing the ten students and an employee to rigorous imprisonment, the Rajshahi Speedy Trial Court fined each of them Tk 5,000. The convicts will serve three more months in jail for failure to pay the fine.

Following the campus unrest on August 21 and 22, police filed four cases against 30 people, including eight teachers and 21 students.

Trial of two cases has already ended while chargesheets against 11 other students in two other cases wait to be accepted by courts.

Before passing the judgment, the court said documents seeking to back up the allegations suggest that the two teachers were aware beforehand that the DGFI car would enter the campus at 1400hrs (local time) and its engine would stall at the Paris Road Crossing.

It is absolutely implausible.

The prosecution tried to prove the charges on basis of a video cassette, pictures, mobile phone call lists and statements of 22 witnesses. But they did not take any initiative to identify those in the video footage and photos, it added.

UNI

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