The problems of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) students in Sylhet will be solved soon, said Education Minister Dipu Moni Wednesday.
However, the minister said the resignation or removal of the vice-chancellor (VC) is a different issue. "If one VC leaves, another one will come."
"The solution to students' problems does not depend on whether a VC stays or not. So the problems need to be solved," Dipu told the media during a press briefing at her residence Wednesday.
The minister said she wants to solve the problems, including accommodation and food quality issues, facing the students. "I am also ready to sit with the students whenever they want, as they are physically and emotionally exhausted now."
The education minister said the students' movement was logical. "But the police attack on the students was unacceptable as many students got injured."
Asked about the resignation of VC Farid Uddin Ahmed, the sole demand of the students and they would also say their sole problem, the minister said, "There are various processes for the removal of the VC. The VC has been appointed by the president, who is the chancellor of the university. We will see what we can do about it after solving the students' problems."
She said the cases filed against the protesting students during the movement will not affect their future. "I will talk about the withdrawal of the cases."
"We got a chance to look into the problems (of students) through what happened at SUST. This is not just their problem alone, as all public universities are facing residential and food crises. We want to move forward by solving all the problems," the minister said.
Meanwhile, the five former students of SUST were granted bail on Wednesday evening. The alumni were arrested from Dhaka, on the charge of sending money to the protesting students at the university.
Meanwhile, over two dozen SUST students who went on fast unto death ended their week-long hunger strike on Wednesday.
The students embarked on fast-unto-death on the university campus on January 19, demanding the resignation of the SUST vice-chancellor over the police crackdown on their fellows.
Around 10.20am on Wednesday, the students broke their fast after former SUST Professor Muhammad Zafar Iqbal gave them water to drink.
The eminent writer and his wife Yasmeen Huq, also a former SUST teacher, came to the university in Sylhet from Dhaka around 4am and met the protesting students.