A human chain made at JU for scrapping ‘controversial’ sections

Md Shahadat Hossain Sumon,JU correspondent

Working journalists of Jahangirnagar University (JU) today demanded scrapping two revised subsections of the controversial disciplinary code through a human chain.

The demand made at a human chain at the premises of university’s central Shaheed Minar around 2.00pm.

The protest made under the banner of “Working Journalist at JU campus” while over 50 journalists of different print and online media and the activist of different cultural organization took part in the human chain.
Working journalists’ of the university demanded abolition of controversial two sections ‘5(j)’ and ‘5(q)’ of newly updated disciplinary ordinance to the students.

One sub-section states that the JU authorities can expel students for life, if they publish or broadcast any “false” and “distorted” news about the university in local, national or international print, electronic media, or social media. The other newly-added sub-section says no student can send any “obscene” or “discourteous” message to any student, teacher, official or other employees of JU via telephone, mobile, email, and internet, or stalk them this way.

According to the revised code, any violation of the two sub-sections to it will be treated as “misconduct”, and the violators will have to face a maximum punishment of lifetime expulsion and a minimum penalty of Tk 5,000 in fine.

Professor Anu Mohammad, professor of economics department at the University said, “Article 5 (j) and 5 (q) mentioned in the section of the Code is contrary to article 39 (freedom of speech) and article 40 (freedom of occupation of trade) of the constitution. No such situation has arisen in the university, where the activities mentioned in the sub-section can be organized. In addition, due to no definition or explanation of false information,distortion, indecent message or non-profanity message,those subsection can become repressive and it will”.

Jahangirnagar University Sangskritik Jote President Ashiqur Rahman said, “The sub section will shrink the student’s expression against the recessional activities of the university. Because the administration will prove to be true to them as they do. As a result, it is likely to be misused.”
Shakiluzzaman,President of “General student rights council” said, “The university administration can not punish any journalist. If anyone publishes ‘false’ or ‘distorted’ information, then the university should protest against him through the existing law”.

President of Jahangirnagar University Journalist Association(JUJA),Plabon Tarique said,”The administration attempted to mask the irregularities and corruption by adding such section as activists and protesting students can no longer talk about corruption.The administration must abolish it.

News of the revision to the code triggered widespread outcry among students, university-based journalists, student organisations, and a section of teachers last month.

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