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PM warns of punitive actions against instigating varsity students

Rtv online desk
|  09 Nov 2019, 00:00 | Update : 09 Nov 2019, 22:05
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina warned of punitive actions against instigating students to create unrest in public universities reminding all concerned that these institutions of higher studies are run with public money.

“Leading students to a wrong path through provocation and sweet words is unacceptable . . . nobody can allow this,” she said while inaugurating the Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik League’s (BJSL) 13th national council at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on Saturday afternoon.

In an apparent reference to the current unrest in Jahangirnagar University and other public universities, the premier said if the situation continued the government might stop funding these institutions which would require agitators or their instigators to bear their study expenses.

“The government will stop (giving) all money. Because the public universities are autonomous bodies . . . Why the government will bear their expenses,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina asked those who were waging the movements at the universities for various demands to think that what they would do.

Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Munnujan Sufian and AL Labour Affairs Secretary Habibur Rahman Siraj also spoke at the function.

International Labor Organization (ILO) Country Director Tuomo Poutiainen, General Secretary of International Trade Union Confederation – Asia Pacific (ITUC AP) Shoya Yoshida and South Asian Regional Trade Union Council General Secretary Laxman Bahadur Basnet addressed the function.

BJSL President Alhaz Sukkur Mahmud presided over the inaugural session of the conference, while its Executive President Fazlul Haque Mantu read out obituary reference and General Secretary Sirajul Islam delivered the welcome address.

Earlier, the Prime Minister opened the conference by releasing pigeons and balloons in the morning.

The premier said some people are unnecessarily raising allegations (against the university authorities) whether those are right or wrong.

“There are laws in the country and if anybody brings false allegations against anyone, the complainant will be tried and punished under those laws,” she said.

“So, I will tell those bringing false allegations to see those laws. You cannot forget that we were also students of the universities and pursued study there,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said there is no country like Bangladesh, where the public universities provide education to students at so much low cost.

“It’s true that autonomy prevails in public universities in Bangladesh. But it’s the government which provides money … how much money a student of a public university spends for study? It’s maximum Tk 150 a month. Can they pursue higher study with this money?” she questioned.

The Prime Minister also questioned as to how much money is spent in each semester after being admitted to the private universities.

Sheikh Hasina said Tk 2 lakh or more is being spent for a student at a public university. The amount is higher at engineering, medical or vocational institutions and the government is providing all expenses, she said.

“We want discipline to exist there and the students to get proper education. We want them to build their life beautifully,” she said.

The Prime Minister said: “Many people say that we don’t understand the public universities. From this comment, it seems that only those creating disorder (in the universities) understand the public universities.”

She continued: “And those who are hampering study of the students by wasting working hours only understand the public universities. We’ll not understand it.”

Sheikh Hasina said the government will provide money and do all development projects and those staging demonstrations feel very good to accept it. “But the government cannot take any action there, it can never happens,” she said.

The prime minister said there is a saying that “independence is good, but it’s not for boys” and this will have to be kept in mind. “I think it’s better not to speak such type of childish word,” she said.

Source: BSS


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