Fifty teachers of different universities on Saturday criticised the Dhaka University (DU) authorities for failure to take actions against the teachers who committed or collaborated with anomalies in recent students’ union elections.
In a statement, they condemned the DU provosts for their demand to punish eight teachers who observed the Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (DUCSU) polls and pointed out various irregularities.
“The nation will not forget in the next 50 years, the way they (the provosts) rigged polls and helped in rigging votes and thus damaged the image of the university,” the signatories of the statement observed.
The signatories include professor Nehal Karim of sociology department at DU, Anu Muhammad of Jahangirnagar University (JU), Ali Riaz of University of Illinois, USA, former professor of international relations department at DU Akmal Hossain, Manosh Chowdhury of JU, Mirza Taslima Sultana of JU, Wakilur Rahman of Bangladesh Agriculture University, Rubayet Ferdous of DU, Kaberi Gain of DU and Mohammad Tanjimuddin Khan.
Referring to the demand of the provosts’ committee to punish the eight teachers for unlawfully monitoring the polls and damaging the university’s reputation, the 50 teachers insisted that the teachers have the authority to apply proctorial authority in accordance with the Dhaka University Order 1973.
They argued that the eight teachers had rather worked in favour of the university administration by pointing out the irregularities committed in the DUCSU elections.
“Had the university administration taken the observations into cognizance, it would have benefitted and regained image slightly,” the signatories said.
They regretted that the provosts’ committee, after a meeting on 18 March, spoke against those who divulged irregularities whereas they remained silent about the vote rigging.
“They proved their personal interest and allegiance to party…. They proved their bankruptcy and lack of respect for dissent,” read the statement.
The signatories mentioned that the incidents of rigging and ballot stuffing as well as obstruction to voters were already reported on the social media and in the media outlets.
The DU authorities, while offering foods to the students who observed hunger strike, virtually admitted that the election had not been held in a completely fair atmosphere. All panels except ruling party student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League also pulled out of the electoral race on the voting day alleging massive irregularities, they added.
In view of the truth and ethical standpoint of the eight teachers, the signatories demanded that the DU authorities would express regret for their moral failure.