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Dhaka Tribune

Prof Imtiaz relieved of duty as Centre for Genocide Studies director

He was earlier accused of distorting the history of the Liberation War in his book

Update : 11 Apr 2023, 08:58 PM

The Dhaka University authorities have relieved Dr Imtiaz Ahmed, a retired professor of the Department of International Relations, from the post of director of the Centre for Genocide Studies of DU.

He has been replaced by Sheikh Hafizur Rahman Curzon, a professor of the law department.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman made the appointment on Tuesday, confirmed Mahmud Alam, director of the public relations department of DU.

Earlier, Prof Dr Imtiaz Ahmed was accused of distorting the history of the Liberation War in his book “Historicizing 1971 Genocide: State Versus Person.” There are also demands of action against him from various quarters.

On April 2, Muktijuddo Mancha held a human chain and protest rally to demand the speedy removal and exemplary punishment of Professor Imtiaz Ahmed. A delegation of the organization gave a memorandum to the DU vice-chancellor after the rally.

Justice Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik, present at the human chain, said: “On page 40 of the book, Dr Imtiaz wrote that on March 7, 1971, he appeared at Suhrawardy Udyan to listen to Bangabandhu's speech and heard Bangabandhu say 'Joy Pakistan.'”

“Professor Imtiaz, in this book, tried to explain that Bangabandhu did not want independence. In the mentioned book, he also wrote such words, which means that what happened in Bangladesh in 1971, does not fall under the Genocide Convention of 1948,” he added.

The human chain also discussed how Prof Imtiaz showed doubts about the number of martyrs in the Liberation War by writing: “A fundamental question is, did three million people really die, or was the death toll lower?”

Muktijuddo Mancha strongly condemned and protested against such “bold and arrogant writings.” It demanded the immediate removal of Prof Imtiaz Ahmed from Dhaka University for his activities against the spirit and ideals of the Liberation War and for distorting its history, said protesters at the human chain.

A high-level inquiry committee will be constituted, legal action should be taken against him. No “Pakistani supporter” can stay at Dhaka University, they added.

Sheikh Hafizur Rahman Curzon, professor of law, said at the human chain: “The crime committed by Prof Imtiaz Ahmed is unforgivable. Strict disciplinary action should be taken against him as per university law. Professor Imtiaz has insulted Father of the Nation Bangabandhu and the great Liberation War. His place cannot be at Dhaka University. He cannot be at the Genocide Research Centre. Quick action should be taken against him.”

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