Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni has said the government is keen to solve the problems faced by the students of Shahjalal Universtiy of Science and Technology (SUST).
"We got a chance to see the problems (of students) through what happened at Shahjalal University. This is not just their problem alone as all public universities are facing residential and food crises. Hopefully, we can solve a lot of these," she told the media at a press briefing Wednesday (26 January) at her residence.
Dr Dipu Moni expressed hope that the protesting SUST students will lift their blockade soon and sit for a talk.
"We will examine all their complaints and the flow of incidents this far. We will take action against those who have shown negligence to fulfil their duty," she added.
Commenting on the students' demand of removing SUST Vice-chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed, the minister said the solution to their problems does not depend on whether a vice-chancellor is present or not.
"The VC has been appointed by the President, a different process is followed here. We will see what we can do after solving the students' troubles," she told the media.
Dr Dipu Moni noted that complaints of SUST students are mere expressions of the main problem.
"We want to solve it. For that, university administration, students and teachers are all on one side, we have no division in this regard. We will solve the problem together," she added.
She also assured the arrested former SUST students saying, the charges against them will be lifted soon.
"Lawsuits filed during the movement, or anything that happened in the meantime, will no longer remain. We will see to that it leaves no effect on the personal or academic life of the students," said Dr Dipu Moni.
Meanwhile, protesting SUST students who took part in a fast-unto-death programme, demanding the resignation of VC Farid Uddin Ahmed, ended their hunger strike after seven days on Wednesday.
However, the ongoing movement against the university's VC will continue until all the demands are met, said the demonstrating students to The Business Standard.
On 13 January, a group of SUST resident students began demonstrating, alleging that their provost, Zafrin Ahmed Liza, misbehaved with a student who called her to report bad food and other issues.
On 16 January, police charged batons, lobbed tear shell canisters, fired rubber bullets and threw stan grenades on the agitating students that left over 30 pupils injured. The police action turned the student protest into an-anti VC one as protesters went on a fast-unto-death programme.
Education Minister Dipu Moni spoke with a delegation of the protestors in a video call on Saturday night for almost an hour.
The students said that they would not break their fast until the VC resigned. Many of them were hospitalised over the next 160 hours.