BUET VC must resign


The irresponsibility BUET VC Saiful Islam in the incident of Abrar Fahad murder at Sher-e Bangla Hall is inexcusable. The entire country has expressed anger over the heinous killing. And yet the vice chancellor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) did not feel it necessary to even pay a visit to the spot after a student was killed in the residential hall. He even did not join the namaz-e-janaza either. What sort of guardian of the university is the VC?

The VC has tried to explain why he did not visit the spot of the killing, but his explanation is totally unacceptable. He said he was holding a meeting with the education minister at that time. Why was the meeting with the education minister more important when a student was murdered by miscreants at the university? When the students laid a siege to the VC office, he seemed indifferent in his behaviour and attitude. Only in the face of tough and non-stop demonstrations, the VC was compelled to sit with the protesting students and accept all of their demands.

The ruling party’s student organisation inflicted harassment and torture on the general students for long, but the gravity of these horrors increased recently. But the administration did not take any action. Under such circumstances, the question arises whether Saiful Islam has the moral ground to continue as VC.

Meanwhile, around 300 teachers under the banner of BUET Teachers’ Association demanded the resignation of the VC. BUET Alumni association led by national professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury held a rally on the campus protesting the Abrar murder and demanding the resignation of the VC.

Criticising the demand of BUET alumni, education minister Dipu Moni said the demand is illogical and unwarranted. It cannot be denied that it is a combined failure that torture cells at BUET and other universities could not be stopped. In this regard, the education minister and the VC were more responsible than the BUET alumni. It was justified of the Teachers’ Association and the BUET alumni to demand the resignation of the VC. The consequences will not be good if the VC obstinately clings to his post defying the demands of the teachers and students.

The incident of BUET has exposed the spineless administration and the VCs of the public universities. On what criterion are the VCs of the public universities recruited? It is obvious that party loyalty gets preference over competence in the recruitment. Once recruited, they become focused on widening their organisational activities instead of running the universities properly.

Vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University in Gopalganj, Mohammad Nasiruddin, resigned in disgrace in face of the protest by the students. Earlier, VC of Barishal University Imamul Haque was also compelled to resign. The teachers and students of Jahangirnagar University (JU) continue demonstrations against the VC. So the activities of the VCs and the pro VCs of the public universities should be assessed and evaluated. At the same time, the recruitment process needs to be revised. The VCs must have accountability.

The provost of Sher-e Bangla Hall has meanwhile resigned accepting his failure. BUET VC Saiful Islam must resign in a bid to restore normal atmosphere at BUET.