Dhaka, Jan 5 (UNB) – Certain rules and security measures were well in place for past several years keeping intact the academic atmosphere of the country’s numero uno public university. Not any longer.
Dhaka University (DU) campus is now facing the menaces of mugging, night-time insecurity and overcrowding by outsiders.
There were manned security posts at different entry points (Shahbagh, Nilkhet, High Court Mazhar, Ananda Bazar and Palashi) to DU campus and unless for any emergencies – the outsiders and public transports were not allowed to the campus after 8pm. Teachers, residential students, staffs and other members of the varsity family used to feel secured.
But the current situation of the university is totally different.
Now there is no existence of security cheek posts at any entry points and there is literally no control over increasing number of outsiders’ movements. DU residents are complaining about the frequent incidents of thefts, hijackings and extortions in recent months.
General students attributed these to the lax by the administration, which they complained, is no longer enforcing the security rules and vehicular movement rules on the campus properly.
Rashedul Haque Khan, a 4th year student of Arabic Department said, “We have no security at campus. You can be robbed off or run over by outsiders’ cars anytime on this campus.”
They alleged that incidents of hijacking and theft have increased alarmingly.
On Nov 19 last year, handbag of a former DU Mass Communication and Journalism Department student, Shariful Islam, was snatched near at the Memory Eternal in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s official residence. Shariful, who now teaches at a private university, filed a general diary with Shahbagh police station.
On Nov 16, a snatcher tried to snatch Tk. one lakh from a businessman at the same place, while general people caught the hijacker and handed him over to police.
Earlier, on Feb 10, Moniruzzaman, a former student of DU got hurt as some snatchers fired shot at him in front of the University Club.
At around the same spot on January 31 last year, two criminals brandishing knives snatched away the mobile phone from a sophomore Imarat Hossain Khan.
Besides incidents of theft also marked sharp rise in residential halls. Students often complain of their valuables like money, laptop, mobile phone, cycle, motorcycle getting stolen from the dormitories due to security lax.
There is no control, whatsoever, over almost anybody and everybody’s entry and roaming in and around the campus. Starting from beggars to muggers to homeless poor, some of whom even made the campus as their makeshift night lodge.
In recent times, outsiders even set their meeting and dating schedules and venues on the campus and there are lots of allegations of unsocial activities earning the DU a bad name.
Tarikul Islam, a student of Philosophy Department said that general public is getting negative impression about the DU campus for some unwanted activities for which students, teachers or university employees are not responsible. Reputation of the varsity will be at stake, he feared, unless the administration takes strict measures to stop these menaces.
DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr. Md Akhtaruzzaman said, "It is true that we are facing a lot of problems. We have a plan to control movement of the public transports and outsiders on campus." He didn’t elaborate the plan though.
He spoke of practical problem in making the campus off-limit for public transports as the DU is located at centre point of Dhaka. “But we trying our level best to provide proper security on our campus," he added.