Chittagong University (CU) has instructed resident female students to return to their halls before 10pm every day.
The administration took the initiative after a recent incident of harassment of a female student.
The decision was taken at a meeting among the vice-chancellor, provosts, proctors and student advisors on Tuesday (19 July), confirmed CU Registrar (Acting) Monirul Hasan Bhuiyan on Wednesday.
"This decision has been taken solely for the safety and welfare of our female students. No student should be outside after 10pm. I would request all students to follow this instruction for the sake of discipline and from a place of responsibility," said the CU official.
While some students are in compliance with the new development, many others are showing adverse reactions.
Some progressive student leaders consider this an interference with the freedom of students.
Israt Haque Zareen, convenor of the University Socialist Students Front, said the decision was taken following a sexual harassment case. She scoffed that the university could not yet identify the perpetrator. "Instead, they want to keep girls bound", she said.
"It seems like they're telling us there will be crimes, so we shouldn't go outside at all.
"Instead of imposing such absurd restrictions, the university should have ensured proper security around the premises," she remarked.
University unit of Student Union' President Pratya Nafak said, "University is a place to practice freedom. It is quite unreasonable to force something on someone. Students can have any and all kinds of work after 10pm.
"Saying that I am not safe if I go out after 10pm – imposing this culture of fear – is never acceptable. It is a product of the patriarchal attitude of the administration," remarked Pratya.