It has been alleged that six college students were detained for not paying the mess rent in Cumilla.
The incident took place in Dharmapur area next to Cumilla Victoria College degree branch on Tuesday. After being locked for more than 4 hours, the college students called 999 and the police came and rescued them.
The students used to live on the ground floor of Jahanara Manzil in Dharmapur. When all educational institutions in the country were declared closed in mid-March due to coronavirus infection, the students left the mess and went home.
“The six of us live at Jahanara Manzil in Dharmapur,” said Merin Tanzina Tumpa, a student in the social work department at Victoria College.
“Everyone is studying for Honors and Masters in Victoria. I was not in the mess for about three months due to the coronavirus. Our tuition is also closed. On Tuesday, six of us went to the mess. After entering the house, the owner of the house locked the main gate. We said, since we were not in the mess, there was no tuition.
We agreed to pay 50 percent rent. The landlord asked to pay the full rent. She locked the gate and held us for about four hours. We were forced to call 999. The police came and rescued us.”
Janahara Begum, owner of Dharmapur Jahanara Manzil, said, “I get three-four months' rent from them. Many tenants have gone without paying before. I told them sincerely, I will not open the lock if I do not receive rent. The girls brought the police to my house. I pay gas, electricity and other expenses using the rent. If the government had waived these bills, I could have waived them too.”
Cumilla Kotwali Model Police Station Sub-Inspector Anwar Hossain said, “I got a call from 999 number and went to the spot with the team. The house was locked. The lock was opened when we called the owner. Initially, after resolving the issue, we arranged to send them out of the house. Both parties have been directed to contact the police station in case of any problem.”
College Principal Professor Md Ruhul Amin Bhuiyan said, “Such treatment of students is sad. We sent a campus message to apply for a rent waiver. After that we have written to the deputy commissioner to waive the mess rent in response to their application. I hope that the homeowners and the local administration will extend a helping hand to the middle class students.”