JU incident needs investigation

Update:

The removal of Rezwanul Huq Chowdhury and Golam Rabbani as president and general secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League respectively, indicates that the ruling Awami League gives importance to the image of its student wing.

These two student leaders were accused of extortion, demanding ‘toll’ from development work at Jahangirnagar University (JU), taking bribes in exchange of posts in the BCL committee, misusing their power and so on.

The JU vice chancellor Farzana Islam complained to the prime minister that these two student leaders had demanded large sums of money from the contractors involved in development work at the university. Prothom Alo reported on the matter in detail.

After Rabbani’s removal as BCL general secretary, the question now arises whether he qualifies to remain the general secretary of Dhaka University Central Students Union (DUCSU). If he was removed from the leadership of BCL on grounds moral turpitude, then for the very same reason he should not retain leadership in DUCSU. More than the legal question, it is a matter of ethics and credibility. He is accountable to those who voted him to the post of DUCSU general secretary.

In the meantime, the two BCL leaders complained in writing to the prime minister that they had not demanded any money from the contractors, but that the JU unit of BCL had been given Tk 16 million. The VC rejected their statement as false and asked them to prove their allegation.

Golam Rabbani put forward a counter challenge to the JU VC. The mudslinging between the student leaders and the VC is shameful. Teachers and students of JU have also brought about similar accusations against the JU VC and her family.

It is essential for a thorough investigation to be conducted into the matter. This requires the government’s political will. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s stance is clear in her reaction to the dubious activities of the student leaders. The activities of the JU VC must also be met with a similar firm stance. After all, the university is committed to knowledge and learning, to rearing good citizens. Moral degradation has no place there.

The situation is hampering the university’s normal activities and academic environment. It has upset the students. The teachers who are committed to their profession are also distraught. A thorough and credible investigation must be conducted to resolve the situation immediately.

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