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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Dhaka university vice chancellor quits
Student on hunger strike at a Dhaka university memorial
Clashes began after a police raid on a women's hostel

The vice chancellor of Bangladesh's main university in Dhaka, Anwarullah Chowdhury, has resigned following a week of violent clashes between students and police.

Thousands of protesting students have blamed Mr Chowdhury for authorising a police raid on a women's dormitory at the university last week.

About 18 female undergraduates were dragged out of their beds in the early morning and arrested.

The incident infuriated students, who accused the police of being unnecessarily violent with the women.

The Bangladeshi government hopes that the resignation of Mr Chowdhury will bring an end to violent clashes between students and police at the country's most prestigious university.

Jubilant celebrations

About 25,000 students attend the University of Dhaka.

The student protest that followed the police raid on the women's dormitory were the largest since Bangladesh was ruled by a military government over a decade ago.

Dhaka policemen drag a student protester
Violent clashes continued for a week

Police at times had to use teargas and rubber bullets to disperse them.

They said it was necessary to arrest the women because they were suspected of taking part in earlier violent protests.

Many students insisted their confrontation with the authorities would carry on until the vice chancellor was removed.

When the news of the resignation filtered through to the campus, there were jubilant celebrations.

'Politically-motivated' appointments

The Bangladeshi Education Minister, Osman Farooq, has said that the university which was indefinitely closed last week because of the protests, will be allowed to reopen as soon as the students disperse.

Curzon Hall, part of the campus
Dhaka is the country's most prestigious university

But the resignation of Mr Chowdhury will not pacify some students who say that officers who carried out the raid on the dormitory should be immediately and severely punished.

The government says that it has launched a full scale judicial inquiry into the incident, and that no one found to have broken the law - either police or students - will escape punishment.

Critics of the ruling coalition in Bangladesh say that Mr Chowdhury is being made a scapegoat.

They say that ultimately the government must take responsibility for the clashes because it made a series of politically-motivated appointments to the university.

See also:

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