SUST VC apologises for comments on JU students

Monday, 24 January 2022

Vice-Chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) has apologised for his past remarks on the female students of Jahangirnagar University (JU).

Amid protests for his removal following police attack on students during demonstration over another demand, Farid Uddin called up his JU counterpart Farzana Islam on Monday to express his regret over his comments.

He “sincerely regretted and apologised for what he said about the female students”, Farzana’s office said in a statement, reports bdnews24.com.

Farid claimed his words were edited and spread on social media, according to the statement. “He understands the comments sparked outrage among the students of Jahangirnagar University and aggrieved the teachers and officials.”

“He seeks forgiveness from the liberal and progressive students and teacher of the Jahangirnagar University.”

Farid later said, “I spoke to the JU Teachers’ Association president and the vice-chancellor. The leaked audio recording of my voice was tampered with. I’m truly sorry for what happened.”

Under fire over the incident, Farid went on to say that a group intentionally edited the recording to “provoke” the students.

Laek Sazzad Andallah, president of the JU Teacher’s Association, said Farid “apologised for the incident and also said the leaked content was not genuine.”

Students had begun protests earlier this month to demand the resignation of Zafrin Ahmed Liza, provost of Shahjalal University’s Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall, for misbehaving with students.

Though the provost was eventually removed, students have continued their campaign to press for the resignation of Farid Uddin after police used batons, tear shells and stun grenades to break up a protest.

Police charged 300 unnamed students in a case last week over the protesters’ clash with law enforcers. Later, the students launched a hunger strike to push for the removal of the VC and the dismissal of the case against protesters.

On Sunday, the agitating students cut electricity and water supplies to Farid’s residence after laying a siege to it in an attempt to turn up the heat on authorities.