Police have freed the teachers and staffers of Rabindra University Bangladesh (RUB) who were confined by protesting students in the academic building since Sunday afternoon.
From Friday night students of RUB went on an indefinite hunger strike as the syndicate committee didn't permanently suspend accused professor Farhana Yasmin Baten, who was suspended by the university authorities on 1 October.
The syndicate committee held a meeting on Friday which was adjourned without any decision on the incident. This again has triggered the students to renew their protest until Prof Baten gets terminated.
In face of the fresh protest, the university teachers arrived at the campus around 4pm on Sunday to meet the demonstrating students. At one point in the meeting, the students locked the gates of the academic building while the teachers and staffers were inside.
Total 34 people were released at around 2am on Monday with the help of law enforcers, confirmed Shahjadpur police station Sub-Inspector (SI) Rubel Hossain.
He said, "We reached the university campus around 1:30am after being informed about the development. The teachers and staff members of the university were freed after discussions with all the concerned parties."
Rowshan Alam, a member of the institution's proctorial body, said, "They [students] had confined us inside the academic building. Of those who were locked inside, three were women. We had requested them to free the female faculty members as they have young kids to look after. But the students didn't pay heed to our pleas."
He claimed that some of the students even physically assaulted the teachers and used derogatory remarks to address them. "They can't be our students and we aren't fit to be their teachers."
On Sunday, one of the protesting students took poison demanding the termination of the teacher who allegedly cut the hair of 16 students.
Shamim, a student of Cultural Heritage and Bangladesh Studies Department brought out a bottle of poison from his pocket around 1pm during his speech and gulped it in front of the students.
He was immediately taken to Shahjadpur Upazila Health Complex and his condition has improved now.
On 26 September, Farhana instructed an office assistant to trim the hair of 16 first-year students as they were entering examination halls, apparently for ignoring her previous instructions to get the haircuts.
Unable to bear the humiliation, Nazmul Hasan Tuhin, 25, a student of the department, consumed sleeping pills the following day in an attempt to take his own life.
Although she submitted her resignation as department chair, assistant proctor, and member of the proctorial board, Farhana has continued to deny the allegations and claimed the charges against her were all fabricated, as she rejected the request of a few students to defer the exam.
On 30 September, the RUB students staged protests demanding the termination of the teacher.
The following day, the High Court asked the RUB VC and registrar to take steps against those involved in the incident and to file a report within a month.
Later in the day, the RUB authorities suspended Farhana from her teaching position as well.
On 2 October, following assurance by Education Minister Dipu Moni of launching a probe into the incident, students eased their protest and unlocked the administrative building of the university.
RUB authorities formed a five-member committee led by Professor Layla Ferdous Himel to probe the incident.