After this incident on Thursday, the education ministry on the same day said that there is no scope of validating this recruitment made by the former vice-chancellor on his last working day. The ministry also said a probe committee would be formed to bring the persons involved in the illegal recruitment and discrepancies to book.
On the last working day of his second term as vice-chancellor, M Abdus Sobhan appointed nine teachers, 23 officers, 85 junior assistants and 24 office assistants on ad hoc basis. Their appointment letter and the recruitment order was dated 5 May. These appointments even sparked clashes among the teachers, officials and Chhatra League activists of the university.
There had been allegations of irregularities against Abdus Sobhan since long. Added to this is his latest activity on the last working day.
Earlier, Abdus Sobhan appointed his own daughter and son-in-law as teachers, defying the recruitment policy. The University Grant Commission (UGC) also found evidence of his involvement in discrepancies during investigating the allegations against him on government instruction.
Chhatra League’s claim to be used by the VC
According to the recruitment lists and Chhatra League activists, 43 among the 141 newly appointed are present and former activists of university Chhatra League unit and Chhatra League and Jubo League units in nearby areas.
Abdus Sobhan had appointed many of the former and present members of university Chhatra League unit. Despite this, there is talk on the university campus that they have not been appointed to any post suitable to their educational qualification.
Several Chhatra League leaders believe that Abdus Sobhan has used them as scapegoats to appoint others. There are several BNP-Jamaat affiliated people among the new recruits, they claimed.
Former student of the agronomy and agriculture Extension department and current vice-president of university Chhatra League, Faruque Hossain, has been appointed as a senior assistant.
However, he claims that he has the eligibility to be a teacher of the university. He said, “I want to thank the vice-chancellor as he appointed us. However, he did not evaluate the members of Chhatra League properly.”
Sadiqul Islam, former vice-president of university Chhatra League unit, holds a Masters’ degree in Law from National University after passing Honours and Masters in Information Science and Library Management. He has been appointed to a class three post as a junior assistant.
Agitated by his appointment in a low level post, Sadiqul told Prothom Alo, “The vice-chancellor has insulted me by appointing me for this post. I am not the only one, none from the Chhatra League, except one, has been appointed as officers. Those who have been appointed in higher posts are not quite familiar to university Chhatra League. They were not even the students of the university. The VC has mainly appointed the family members and relatives of the teachers of the university.”
He thinks that there had been a big financial transaction in this appointment. If that had not happened, the vice-chancellor would have appointed them (Chhatra League leaders and activists) to better posts.
Most of the recruits are relatives of the university teachers
Among the teachers recruited on Abdus Sobhan's last working day are one associate professor, eight lecturers, two physical education teachers and five resident teachers. However, there was no meeting of the departmental planning committee or any kind of demand for the appointment of teachers, said the chairmen of the concerned departments.
Regarding the planning committee, chairman of the music department Dinabandhu Paul said they did not form any sort of planning committee for these recruitments. He only knows that a teacher has been appointed to his department.
Md Emdadul Haque, the chairman of the Information and Communication Engineering department, reiterated what Dinabandhu Paul said. He said the planning committee did not hold any meeting in this regard. Even they did not discuss anything with the university administration regarding this issue. He said, “I only have heard that the former vice-chancellor has appointed a teacher.”
Analysing the recruitment list, it has been revealed that most of the newly appointed teachers are relatives or family members of the university teachers. Hritwik Mahmud, son of Bengali department’s teacher Khandoker Farhad Hossain, has been appointed as a lecturer of music department. He writes under the name Anik Mahmud.
Indranil Mishra, son of prof Chittaranjan Mishra of the history department, has been appointed in the Information and Communication Engineering department. Sabiha Yeasmin, wife of Crop Science and Technology department’s prof Khairul Islam, has been appointed as an associate professor (IT) at the Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Md Kamruzzaman has been recruited as a lecturer of the History department. He is a relative and a PhD fellow of prof Sherezzaman from the same department.
Taskin Parvez is number one in the list of the teachers and has been appointed in the fisheries department. He is also the joint general secretary of Rajshahi city Chhatra League unit.
Ayesha Siddika, wife of Ibrahim Hossain, former president of university Chhatra League unit, has been appointed as the house tutor of Monnujan Hall.
Former vice-president of university Chhatra League unit, Delwar Hossain has been appointed as a teacher of the physical education department. He is the lone Chhatra League leader who has been appointed in such a high level post.
University’s former student M Mustafizur Rahman has been appointed as a lecturer of Arabic department. He works at Islamic Foundation. It was learned that vice-chancellor Abdus Sobhan once went to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and got acquainted with Mustafizur. He was the team leader of the pilgrims at the time.
Md Shahriar Mahbub has been appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences. He is the son-in-law of prof Shamshuddin Ahmed, vice-chancellor of Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib University of Science and Technology in Jamalpur.
Wife of Md Nure Alam Siddiqui, chairman of the medical psychology department, has been appointed as the house tutor of Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Hall in the university. College invigilator and prof Abdul Gani’s wife Farhana Ekram has been appointed as a house tutor of Tapshi Rabeya Hall. Burj E Jobaira, wife of prof Mahmud Hossain of the economics department, has been appointed as the assistant house tutor of Rahmatunnisa Hall.
Four journalists in higher posts
There are four journalists, including two journalist leaders, in the list of the recruits.
Daily Ittefaq's Rajshahi correspondent Anisuzzaman has been appointed as the assistant registrar of the public relations department of the university. He is also an executive member of Rajshahi Journalists’ Union. Mohona Television's Rajshahi bureau chief Mehedi Hasan has been appointed as the section officer of Barendra research museum. Mehedi is also the president of the Rajshahi Television Journalists’ Association.
Enayet Karim, news editor of the local news outlet - Uttara Pratidin and former president of the Rajshahi University Journalists' Association and Amjad Hossain, Rajshahi correspondent of Dainik Amader Shomoy and vice-president of the same organisation of the university, have been appointed as section officers. Besides, the sister of Sourav Habib, bureau chief of Daily Samakal and DBC news has also secured a job.
Even VC’s personal barber, cook were recruited
Further investigations into the matter have revealed that Shamsul Alam of Kajla area adjacent to the university worked as the barber of the vice-chancellor and his family members. He too, has been appointed as the security guard in the steward office of the university.
Abdus Samad alias Rajon of Dharampur area in Kajla works as a carpenter. He used to make the furniture for Abdus Sobhan’s house. He got a job as a carpenter in the engineering office as well.
Fazlur Haque from Kajla area used to supply meat to the vice-chancellor’s house. His daughter too, has got a job. However, his daughter's name and the position in which she got appointed could not be confirmed.
Apart from these people, Saiful Islam worked as the gardener of the vice-chancellor’s house. His wife worked as the cook of that house. She has been appointed as a nurse maid in the university’s medical centre.
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo online and print editions, has been rewritten in English by Ashish Basu.