Chittagong University (CU) authorities on Monday suspended four of its students for a year each for harassing two female students back in September last year.
All of them are activists of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and followers of CU Chhatra League President Rezaul Haque Rubel.
The students are – Md Junaid of the Arabic department (2nd year), Rubel Hasan of the Islamic history and culture department (2nd year), and Emon Ahmed and RH Raju of the philosophy department (2nd year).
On 16 September 2021, the four BCL men sexually assaulted two female students of the communication and journalism department in front of the Central Mosque.
The decision comes against the backdrop of the expulsion of two other BCL men from the university on a charge of sexually assaulting a female student near the institute's Pritilata Hall on 17 July this year.
The incident created a mass outrage, including nationwide protests. Police have so far arrested five perpetrators over the incident. They are currently in remand facing interrogation.
Amid the protests, the Board of Health, Residence and Disciplinary Committee of the university, at an emergency meeting on 23 July, expelled Md Azim and Nurul Abshar Babu.
CU Registrar Professor SM Monirul Hasan said, "In line with the demands of the students, the complainants awaiting trial in the sexual harassment cell have now been addressed."
Of those, four students were suspended for one year each for harassing female students and another student and a teacher were given strict warnings over separate complaints.
Following the complaint brought against Professor ATM Rafiqul Haque of the University's teacher Institute of Forestry and Environmental Science, he was warned in writing. The teacher is asked to be careful in word choice in his academic work in future, Professor Monirul said.
"Besides, the university warned him that if he further commits such misdeeds he will face the maximum punishment," he added.
On the other hand, a chemistry department student has been given a stern warning on the allegation of sexually assaulting a student of Khaleda Zia Hall. If he repeats such a misdeed in future, he will also face maximum punishment.
"Besides, he was asked to submit a bond within seven days to the proctor's office, stating that he will not repeat such an act," the CU Registrar added.