JU VC should resign
The events at Jahangirnagar University appear to be getting graver by the day, with no end in sight, as a large group of teachers and students continue to rally for the resignation of the vice chancellor, while he holds on to his position, with the backing of a group of teachers and Chhatra League activists loyal to him. According to a report front-paged in New Age on Saturday, with the protest and agitation now in its fourth month, there are serious concerns that the academic calendar will be badly disrupted with prolonged session jams in the offing. Given the circumstances, it is pertinent that the government and highest authorities intervene immediately to resolve the situation. More importantly, given the nature of the allegations against the vice chancellor, which are both massive and horrifying to say the least, and most media reports would suggest they hold true, there is little scope but to call upon him to resign.
The agitations against Sharif Enamul Kabir began in December 2011 but gained momentum and strength ever since the torture and death of a fourth-year English department student, allegedly at the hands of a Chhatra League faction loyal to the VC. Not only is the VC accused of backing a patronising the killers, teachers and students allege that Sharif has recruited a staggering 200 teachers in the last three years, a number which equals the number of recruitments since the university began, who are now backing the VC. Moreover, he has been accused of irregularities in the recruitment of employees, in the allotment of residential facilities, in the enrollment of students, while the assault on Jahangirnagar University Teahcer’s Association president by the proctor loyal to the VC is already a well-known incident. The list in fact stretches further.
The events at Jahangirnagar University, it would not be a stretch to say, are symptomatic of the events that have taken place in the last three in various education institutions, government offices and other places, because of rampant politicization by the government. The government has shown a propensity to appoint their preferred, party-loyal candidates to various important positions, with clear disregard for their acceptance amongst their peers and subordinates, leading to similar difficult situations in important institutions of the country. It has furthermore been shocking and disturbing to notice the length the government and authorities have gone to back and support these unpopular persons accused of some very heinous offences.
Jahangirnagar University is one of the premier higher education institutions in this country. There is no scope for the government and the authorities to dillydally with the fate of the students and teachers of such a prestigious institution. The government should immediately take steps to make sure the Vice Chancellor of the institution heeds to the demands of protesting students and teachers, and resigns, following which a thorough investigation into the allegations against him is undertaken immediately.
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