Protesters alleged during the time of Abrar’s murder that Prof Satya had enabled Chhatra League
The former director of Directorate of Students' Welfare (DSW) – who was responsible for maintaining discipline and security in Buet campus and had allegedly failed to stop ragging during his tenure – now has been appointed as the vice-chancellor (VC).
The newly appointed Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) VC, Dr Satya Prasad Majumder, an Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) professor, would serve in his new role for the next four years, the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education said in a statement on Thursday.
Prof Satya is the successor of Prof Saiful Islam, another EEE professor, who was appointed by the government as the VC of the country’s top engineering university in 2016.
The outgoing VC Saiful in an exclusive interview with Dhaka Tribune, published on October 24 (online on October 23) – days after an EEE student Abrar Fahad was tortured to death by some Chhatra League men – had complained that the ruling party student organization imposed the reign of terror in Buet because of the DSW’s failure, and not his.
He then told this correspondent: “The DSW director is appointed for two years and it is very obvious that the person will change once their tenure ends.
“The culture of ragging was here (in Buet) even before I took charge as the VC. Former DSW director Prof Delwar Hossain tried to keep things under control during his term, but he retired citing excessive workload and health issues.”
“The next DSW director, Prof Satya Prasad Majumder, also failed to stop ragging in the halls,” the outgoing VC Prof Saiful had said then.
“He failed, possibly because he was too polite,” Prof Saiful added then.
“We had a meeting in June  with all deans, department heads, and directors where I came to know about the ragging issue. Also, some guardians had filed complaints.
“Satya Prashad was not present at the meeting. When I asked him over the phone about this, he told me that there was no evidence of ragging,” he added.
“Later, in a separate meeting, Satya Prashad told us that he will not continue as the DSW director. So, then we appointed Prof Abul Kashem Mia, but he had to step down because Chhatra League had some strong reservations about him,” the interview reads, which got a rejoinder too.
Saiful said: “Finally, Prof Mizanur Rahman was appointed as the DSW director. But within weeks, I saw that he was failing to control the [Chhatra League] leaders on campus.”
During that interview, the outgoing VC of Buet hinted that the DSW post had to control the clubs in Buet and Chhatra League wanted their favourable one for the post.
The demonstrators during the days of protests also raised allegations that Prof Satya during his tenure facilitated Chhatra League, which enabled the ruling party student wing, and led to Abrar’s murder.
Contacted, Prof Satya, on Thursday, told Dhaka Tribune that those were old issues.
“Perhaps the former VC [Saiful] was not aware about what was happening in the campus when I was the DSW director. But I heard that he alleged about my failure,” he added.
“During my tenure as the director of DSW, we ran the administration as well as the campus very well. It deteriorated later,” Satya claimed.
Later, Buet had to ban student politics facing widespread protest, and boycott of academic activities by the students due to Abrar’s murder. Abrar was beaten to death between late October 6 and early October 7 last year.
Buet also expelled 26 students involved with that incident.