Questions have arisen about the student status of eight leaders of Dhaka University Central Students Union (DUCSU) and the hall unions.
As per the rules, students can only be admitted to Dhaka University if they pass the written and viva voce admission tests. The eight student leaders, however, did not take any admission exam.
All of these students are former and current leaders of the government-backed Bangladesh Chhatra League.
These students got into admission to an evening course of the business faculty just before the DUCSU elections, having completed their graduation and post graduation much earlier.
The elections of DUCSU and hall unions were held on 11 March this year after 28 long years.
According to Prothom Alo investigations, some 34 former and current BCL leaders got admission into the Masters and the Tax Management Programme under the Banking and Insurance Department so as to maintain their student status after the DUCSU elections had been announced on 11 February.
Eight of them contested for the posts of secretary and members of the central students union, and seven won. Two contested for the posts of VP in two hall unions. One contestant won.
According to rules of the evening course masters programme, admission seekers have to take written and viva voce examinations.
The circular for admission was published in November of 2018. The written test was held on 30 November and the admission process ended in January. But these students got into admission on 11 February, just ahead of the DUCSU elections.
During the admission process in November 2018, business faculty dean Shibli Rubayatul Islam was the director of this programme. He later becomes DUCSU treasurer. Assistant director was Abdullah Al Masud and Abu Taleb was acting chairman.
Speaking to Prothom Alo on 28 August, Abdullah Al Masud said he was unaware of the matter.
Master of Tax Management director Mujahidul Islam said it is a violation of the rules if anybody is admitted without the test.
The programme director and office assistant declined to provide the list of these students.
However, the names of these BCL leaders were found in the voter list of the hall unions. They were listed as students of Banking and Insurance and Master of Tax Management on the voter list.
On condition of anonymity, an office assistant of Master of Tax Management said BCL leaders came to them with notes signed by the VC and the dean. On the basis of this, they were provided admission forms and money receipts.
According to teachers of these programmes, after the admission, these students did not attend any classes or take the exam.
Questionable admission of DUCSU leaders
Students of the programme said some BCL leaders were desperate to contest in the DUCSU polls after announcement of the poll schedule. But as they were not longer students, this was not feasible. They turned to the vice chancellor and dean of the faculty of business for help.
Former employment affairs secretary of central BCL Rakibul Hasan (academic session 2009-10) was been elected DUCSU member. But he was unable to say which batch he was from. He admitted that he was enrolled in the programme without any admission test.
Central BCL vice president Nazrul Islam was a student of history department of the 2009-10 academic session. Nazrul said he did not have to take any entry test. He applied to the VC for admission and later his application was forwarded to the programme director and dean of business faculty.
DUCSU member Md Mahmudul Hasan also admitted that he was enrolled without any admission test.
Meanwhile, science and technology affairs secretary Md Arif Ibn Ali (session 2010-11) and liberation war affairs secretary Saad Bin Kader Chowdhury (session 2011-12) did not admit getting enrolled without admission test. They claimed that they followed the proper procedure to get admitted to the Masters of Tax Management department. Sports affairs secretary Shakil Ahmed Tanvir (session 2009-10) refused to give any direct answer to this question.
However, DUCSU member Nipu Islam confirmed that the three leaders did not take admission tests. Nipu, also former president of BCL Shamsunnahar Hall, said that she along with Arif, Shakil, Tanvir and Nazrul were admitted together and they did not have to take any admission test.
Apart from those seven, 3 other BCL leaders who competed in different posts of DUCSU were also admitted in the MTM programme without admission tests. They are BCL central committee’s deputy-student affairs secretary Azizul Haque Sarker who contested for social affairs secretary post and was defeated, Fazlul Haque Muslim Hall unit BCL president Shahriar Siddik who ran for hall unit VP post and was defeated and BCL DU unit joint secretary Abdul Alim Khan who contested for F Rahman hall unit’s VP post and won.
BCL central joint secretary Pradip Chowdhury, who was a member of DUCSU election conducting committee, also followed the same procedure.
Admitted, but did not contest
There were 23 more BCL leaders who were also admitted to the same department ahead of the election but they did not compete in the polls. They graduated 1 to 5 years ago.
They are central vice presidents Awlad Khan, Aminul Islam, Israt Kashfia, Md Sohan Mia and Fuad Rahman Khan, joint secretary Benzir Hossain, organising secretary Md Sohanur Rahman, office secretary Md Ahsan Habib, law affairs secretary Fuad Hossain, finance secretary Md Rakib Hossain, deputy information and research secretary Abdul Jabbar, deputy finance secretary Md Borhan Uddin, training affairs secretary Haider Md Jitu, deputy literature affairs secretary Shariful Alam, education and study circle affairs secretary Abdullah Al Masud.
DU unit president Sonjit Chandra Das, Jasim Uddin Hall unit secretary Shahed Khan Yakub and Shamsunnahar Hall unit general secretary Jasmin Shanta, too were admitted to the same department.
Among the former leaders, vice president Aditya Nandi, liberation war and research affairs secretary Md Al Mamun, Ziaur Rahman Hall unit vice president Md Imran Khan, Law faculty’s president Shariful Hasan and DU unit general secretary Mostafa Motahar Hossain also got admitted to the department.
What do the dean and VC say?
The university’s vice chancellor Md Akhteruzzaman told Prothom Alo that he knows about admission procedure of general admission, but does not know anything about admission procedure of that particular programme as is it an evening course.
Asked about his permission, the VC suggested talking to the dean.
But the dean on 28 August told this reporter, “You are asking for this information with ulterior motives. The DUCSU leaders to whom you talked all came to me. You asked them unnecessary questions. You want to malign us. I will not to talk about it with you.”
All the participating student bodies and independent candidates had complained from the beginning that the university administration gave undue favour to BCL. BCL candidates won 10 out of 12 secretary level posts and all the 13 member posts. Different student bodies held demonstrations against what they termed was a flawed election.
Wishing anonymity, several teachers of the university said on the whole, the university’s admission process has been competitive and above question. These teachers expressed their frustration at these incidents. They demanded probe and punishment of the perpetrators.
Demanding a fair probe of the incident, DU’s professor of emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury also said anyone admitted to the university without following proper procedures should be punished so that no one dares to undertake such wrongdoing in future.
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam and Galib Ashraf.