Students of the recently closed Shah Makhdum Medical College of Rajshahi formed a human chain demanding admission to other medical colleges through migration.
They warned of staging a fast-unto-death and sieging the health ministry if their demand is not met within this week.
Around 200 students of the college, hailing from Rajshahi, formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in the capital on Sunday.
Students at the event demanded that the health ministry adhere to the commitment made when their college was closed down two months ago owing to a lack of academic and medical facilities.
Shakila Dil Afroz, a 4th year student of the college, said, "On 2 November, the health ministry shut down our college due to a scarcity of faculty, lack of medical facilities, which caused its approval to get cancelled. At the time, the ministry assured us that we would be allowed to migrate to other private medical colleges under Rajshahi Medical University, but we have not received admission even after two months."
Meanwhile, the Rajshahi Medical University has already declared 25 January as the date for our scheduled professional examination, she added.
"When we went to other private medical colleges, authorities refused us admission without payment of extra fees.
Meanwhile, the owner of Shah Makhdum Medical College, Maniruzzaman, is demanding a huge amount of money to release our academic certificates and provide clearance," she said explaining their dilemma.
She said that the Private Medical College Establishment and Management Policy 2011 (Amended) clearly states that if any medical college is shut down by the government, all expenses related to the admission of students to another college will be borne by the movable/immovable assets and deposits of the closed college. It is also stated that the government would facilitate the process.
Tawfiqul Islam, another fourth-year student of the college said, "We paid Tk20-Tk22 lakh for admission to the college. But now neither the Department of Health, Rajshahi Medical University nor the faculty of Rajshahi University Medical is taking responsibility. We are extremely frustrated," he added.
Tawfiq said, "We urge the government to fully implement the migration process as soon as possible per the policy so that we can receive admission in time for our professional examinations.
He demanded that the health department instruct Shah Makhdum College authorities to immediately and without condition send the academic certificates of 207 students to private medical colleges (where they are seeking admission).
He also demanded that senior officials of Shah Makhdum be tried in court for embezzlement of students' money.