From 2001 to 2006: Hawa Bhaban influenced Chittagong University to recruit 160 teachers on party affiliation, not merit

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Published on November 23, 2022
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The BNP-Jamaat alliance established a reign of terror in universities during its rule from 2001 to 2006. They simultaneously persecuted progressive teachers and recruited new ones based on party considerations. They recruited 160 people linked with BNP-Jamaat politics as teachers at Chittagong University in just four years, ignoring all the rules and regulations of the university.

The Prothom Alo reported the matter on March 30, 2007. Chittagong University appointed 188 teachers from 2002 to 2006. Among them, 160 people were known as Jamaat activists. Senior teachers used to joke that the vice-chancellor did not recruit teachers but voters. The University Teachers' Association sent a letter to the Chancellor and the President on August 12, 2004, protesting the appointment of teachers based on party considerations, depriving the talented candidates. At that time, Chhatra Dal leaders and activists also demanded the resignation of the pro-Jamaat Vice-Chancellor as they did not get enough shares in the recruitment process.

The report said - 38 people were recruited in the Arts Faculty, 20 in the Social Sciences Faculty, 3 in Law, 15 in Commerce Faculty, 39 in Science Faculty, 32 in Biology Faculty, 7 in Ocean Science Institute and 6 in Environmental Science. All of them were associated with Jamaat politics.

Ignoring the recommendations of the Planning Commission, the university appointed SM Rizaul Islam to the Bangla department despite having no first-class degree. Other candidates had PhDs and some had three first-class degrees, but they were not appointed. The one qualification Rizaul had was he was a Shibir activist though he was expelled for one year for cheating in the exam in his student life. Even Vice-Chancellor Nuruddin promoted him to assistant professor 23 days into his appointment as a lecturer. Rizaul himself confirmed it to Prothom Alo.

Violating the terms of appointment, the university administration appointed two other Shibir men (Al Marjan and Abu Ahmed) as lecturers in the genetic engineering department only for their Shibir identity. On the other hand, qualified candidates were deprived due to being the minority. Taiyab Chowdhury was appointed as Associate Professor on an ad hoc basis in the Department of Geography and Environment, although he had no prior teaching experience. He was promoted to a professor in just 11 months just because he was close to the Jamaat.

Sanaullah was appointed as a lecturer in the computer science department as his only identity was that he is the nephew of the Amir of Jamaat’s Lohagara unit. Excluding five candidates from public universities, this candidate who passed from Chittagong Islamia University was appointed on the basis of party considerations.

Also, four persons were appointed in 2004 against one post in the Economics department. Among them, Morshedul Haque and Salim Uddin were actively associated with Shibir politics. Those who were excluded had four first-class degrees and two were on the board’s merit list. The then head of the department could not stop the appointment even with a note of dissent. Ignoring the regulations of the Planning Commission, two lecturers were appointed against one professor post in the Geography department.

The Jamaat-affiliated teachers were known to form a shadow syndicate at Chittagong University. Dr Mahbub Ullah controlled the syndicate that decided matters regarding recruitment. He used to regularly visit Hawa Bhaban to this end during the BNP-Jamaat coalition government. He admitted it to the Prothom Alo.