In the wake of student protests, the authorities have decided that the ongoing examinations at seven colleges affiliated with Dhaka University will continue as per the schedule.
After a virtual meeting on Wednesday afternoon joined by Education Minister Dipu Moni, Deputy Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury and Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Professor Akhtaruzzaman, the protesting students were told their examinations would continue.
ASM Maksud Kamal, chief coordinator of the affiliated colleges and also Dhaka University vice-chancellor, told the press that the changed dates for Tuesday's and Wednesday's exams would be published on the website.
But, residential halls of the colleges will remain closed during the examinations and the students will have to maintain virus safety measures during the examinations.
At a meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the chief coordinator and college principals decided the ongoing examinations of the colleges would be postponed as per the instruction of the education ministry.
Protesting at the decision, the students took to the street blockading Nilkhet intersection on Tuesday night. They demanded immediate withdrawal of the decision and reopening the education institutions and dormitories.
With the same demand, more than one thousand students gathered on the Nilkhet intersection on Wednesday morning. The sit-in demonstration paralysed the traffic at the area and adjacent roads, leading to traffic tangles on almost every route.
Police tried to clear the students from the intersection to resume traffic, but to no avail.
Sajjadur Rahman, deputy commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Ramna Zone), said they requested the students to clear the road.
"We had nothing to do as the students did not agree to leave the street without the ministry decision. As a result, the commuters had to suffer," he said.
At one point of the protest, coordinator (focal point) of seven colleges Professor IK Selim Ullah Khandaker turned up at the spot and also requested the students to leave and wait for the decision in the evening. But, the students refused.
At noon, traffic to Shahbagh came to a halt as another group of students blocked the Science Laboratory intersection.
Meanwhile, an emergency meeting was called at noon to decide on the demands of the agitating students.
Following the education ministry decision, the demonstrating students vacated the roads and traffic movement resumed subsequently.
Abu Hanif, a student of Kabi Nazrul Government College who led the protest, said, "Although we have withdrawn our movement as the authorities rowed on the decision, the government should take our other issues seriously."
He said the students are victims of the ministry's "unwise decision".
"We have been facing session jam and other inequalities. We are two years behind the Dhaka University students and even the National University students. They are waiting for master's final year examinations while we were demonstrating for honours final year exams," he said.