Education Minister Dipu Moni is set to visit the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) on Friday to meet with the students, who have been protesting demanding the removal of the university's vice chancellor.
On Thursday, Mohaiminul Bashar Raj, spokesperson of the protesting students, told The Business Standard that they learned about the education minister's visit from Professor Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, who convinced students into ending their hunger strike on 26 January.
"The university administration also gave us a heads-up," he said, adding that they are waiting for the minister's visit since they invited her to visit the campus after they started the protests.
"We are hopeful that our demands will be met during her visit," he said.
Md Mujibur Rahman, the deputy commissioner of Sylhet, said that they were informed about a possible trip on Friday morning and expected to be wrapped up by the evening.
After the students ended their hunger strike on 26 January, Dipu Moni assured the students that their demands would be accepted.
However, authorities are yet to make good on their promises, causing a growing anger among the protesting students, who have continued to stage various protest campaigns on a daily basis demanding the removal of Vice Chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed.
After the hunger strike came to an end, students handed a list of their 5-point demands to noted author and former SUST faculty Zafar Iqbal.
The demands are -- resignation of Vice Chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed, removal of student advisory director Prof Zahir Uddin Ahmed and the proctorial body, initiative to keep all residential halls operational, bail of five alumni students, immediate withdrawal of cases against unnamed students and bearing the medical treatment cost for students, injured in police attacks, allegedly ordered by the vice chancellor.
On Sunday, Zahir Uddin Ahmed, director of student counselling and guidance at SUST was transferred on grounds of his illness. The vacated post was then filled by Amina Parveen, a professor of the social work department.
Since 19 January, 24 students have been on a hunger strike demanding the resignation of the university vice-chancellor. Prior to that, students began protests to demand the resignation of the Provost of the Begum Sirajunnesa Chowdhury Hall Zafrin Ahmed Liza after she allegedly 'misbehaved' with a student.
Though she was eventually removed, students have continued their campaign to press for the resignation of the vice-chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed after police used batons and tear shells and fired shots to break up a protest.