Published:  02:15 AM, 18 July 2017

JU students end hunger strike

The eight students of Jahangirnagar University (JU), who have been on a hunger strike for past three days, have ended their protests after the authorities promised to drop charges against 56 students for vandalizing the vice-chancellor's (VC) residence.

Pro-VC Amir Hossain met the students on strike on the campus' Shaheed Minar on Monday evening and urged them to end their fasting.

He assured them of withdrawing the attempt-to-murder case started over the vandalism of the vice-chancellor's house on May 27. Hossain and other  JU top officials then fed them water.

On May 26, two students of the university were killed in a road accident on Dhaka-Aricha Highway, near the campus, in Savar. Agitating students had then blocked the highway demanding installation of speed breakers on that road.

They had also besieged the vice-chancellor's residence, which was subsequently vandalized. The administration later initiated the case against 56 persons. The police also arrested 42 students over the incident. All of them, however, were released on bail the next day.

Amidst continuous protests demanding withdrawal of the case, two students started the hunger strike from Saturday afternoon. Six others joined them over the past two days.

They are English department's Sardar Jahidul Islam and Tahmina Jahan Tuli, international relations department's Puja Biswas, law department's Khan Muntasir Arman, philosophy's Faisal Ahmed Rudra, Bangla department's Naimul Islam Misho, anthropology's Ratul Khalid and journalism department's Tasnova Tazin Eva.

Earlier in the day, JU Medical Centre's Dr Birendra Kumar Biswas told that Jahid and Puja's conditions had worsened and recommended their hospitalisation by the evening.

Before he had the protesters end their strike, Prof-VC Amir Hossain said the university administration would do everything necessary to drop the charges and steps would also be taken to stop police harassment at the students' houses.

Earlier in the afternoon, two delegations from the teachers association and the provost committee met the protesting students and discussed options for an acceptable solution to the situation.

The pro-VC and other officials returned to break the protesters' fasting in the evening only after meeting the VC.

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