Although there was an hour-long virtual meeting between Education Minister Dipu Moni and protesting students of SUST early Sunday, no solution is in sight yet to break the long standoff on the campus.
After the meeting, the students who are on a hunger strike since Wednesday demanding resignation of Vice Chancellor Fariduddin Ahmed remained stuck to their previous decision not to break the fast until he steps down, representatives of the dissenting students told UNB.
They claimed that no discussion was held at the meeting over the VC’s removal or sending him on leave.
The students said they want to continue the discussion but they will not break the fast. They will brief reporters this afternoon, if everything goes well, they added.
Dipu Moni suggested the students submit their demands in a written form and then she will go for the next step.
The virtual meeting was held in presence of a delegation from Awami League, led by its central organising secretary Shafiul Alam Chowdhury Nadel.
Briefing reporters at 2:30 am after the meeting, Shafiul Alam said 23 of the students have already fallen sick and the number will rise further if they continue it.
The minister assured the students of resolving the crisis and requested them to end the hunger strike as she is ready to hear their problems, Alam said.
Shahriar Abedin, Apurbo, Mir Rana, Sabbir, Umar Faruk, Yasir Sarkar, among others, joined the meeting on behalf of the students.
On Saturday, the minister held a meeting with a delegation of teachers from SUST at her residence at 6:05pm when she urged the dissenting students to sit with her for talks to resolve the current standoff.
Earlier in the day, the students brought out a symbolic coffin procession on the campus. Around 8pm, they lit candles at Golchattar as part of their protests.
Meanwhile, 17 of the 24 students – already on hunger strike since Wednesday afternoon – were hospitalised.
On Friday, Education Minister Dipu Moni talked to the students and said she wants a solution to the crisis as soon as possible.
On Monday, the students wrote an open letter to President Abdul Hamid, chancellor of the university, demanding the immediate removal of VC Farid Uddin Ahmed.
The students also turned down the notice of shutting down the university for an indefinite period and the directive to leave their dormitories.
Currently, the students are staying on the campus.
SUST was supposed to shut down following a clash on the campus between police and the protesting students on January 16. The students were asked to leave the dormitories by 12pm the next day.