RU proctor withdrawn amid growing tension after student’s death in road crash

Rajshahi University authorities have relieved acting proctor Leyakat Ali amid demonstrations by students over the death of Mahmud Hamid Himel, a student of its Graphics Design department, in a road accident on the campus on Tuesday.

The university authorities have appointed Prof Ashabul Hoque of the Mathematics department as the new proctor, said a university media release signed by RU Registrar Prof Abdus Salam on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, police arrested the driver of the truck that ran over Himel on the campus on Tuesday night.

Driver Titu,35, was arrested from Balia village at Kashiadanga in the city around 1:30 pm, said SM Masud Parvez, the office-in-charge of Kashiadanga Police Station.

Himel was killed and another student was injured as the truck carrying construction materials hit their bike in front of Shaheed Habibur Rahman Hall where the construction work of a 20-storey academic building was going on.

His body was taken to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital (RMCH) while the injured, Raihan Rimel, was being treated at the RMCH.

Agitated by the incident, students set five trucks on fire, vandalised the gate of the VC’s residence and a few private vehicles on the campus at night.

They even chased acting proctor Leyakat Ali as he went to the spot two hours after the accident.

They also blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway near the university main gate demanding justice.

Rimel, who suffered wounds in his right leg in the incident, said he and Himel were heading towards the university main gate from Shaheed Habibur Rahman Hall on the bike around 8:45pm to draw money.

“As there was no space to cross the truck, which was carrying stone, we stopped the bike on the left side of the road so that it could pass by. But instead of moving forward, the truck turned left, pulling the motorcycle towards the nearby field. At one stage, the wheels of the truck ran over us, crushing Himel’s head and breaking my leg,” he added.

Later, the angry students set five trucks on fire at the spot, vandalised the gate of the VC’s residence and some private vehicles inside the campus. They also chased acting proctor Leyakat Ali.

They blocked the Dhaka-Rajshahi highway at the main gate of the university demanding justice.

Then the protesting students placed 6-point demand, including the withdrawal of the proctor.

VC Professor Golam Sabbir Sattar Tapu had urged the students to sit with them at 4 pm Wednesday at Sabas Bangladesh playground of the university. But the students turned down the request and demanded that their demands be met immediately.

Around 2.30 am, the students went on a break stopping their demonstrations.

The first namaz-e-janaza of the student was held at the central mosque of the university at 11.00 am on Wednesday. Then the body was taken to his village home in Natore.

Himel was buried at the central graveyard of Garikhana of Natore at 2.30 pm.

Joining his namaz-e-janaza, VC Prof Golam Sabbir said Himel’s family will get compensation in addition to receiving the expenses for running the case, and providing the treatment cost of the injured student, Rimel.

Source: United News of Bangladesh