Several teachers of Dhaka University (DU) on Friday took to social media to express embarrassment at a scuffle between their colleagues during a meeting of the pro-Awami League Blue Panel on Thursday.
Comments included criticism that the teachers involved in the scuffle were “busy flexing muscles” and serving as bad examples for students.
The brawl took place allegedly after DU Proctor Prof Golam Rabbani made insulting remarks about former DU vice-chancellor Prof Arefin Siddique and Prof AKM Jamal Uddin, a teacher of the sociology department and two-term member of the DU senate elected from the Blue Panel, protested.
Prof AKM Jamal Uddin, also former Bangladesh Chhatra League international affairs secretary, claimed that the DU proctor and two teachers - pharmacy department Chairman Sitesh Chandra Bachar and applied chemistry and chemical Engineering department’s Prof Shah Mohammed Masum – beat him with chairs after he protested the insults, causing bleeding from his nose.
A number of teachers who attended the meeting backed Prof Jamal Uddin’s version of the story.
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The sociology department professor further alleged that the incident was manufactured to tarnish his image, as he had recently been recommended for one of two positions as Blue Panel co-convener and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina both knew of him personally and liked him.
DU Proctor Golam Rabbani, who was involved with Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal in the 90s according to Prof Jamal, denied the allegations. He claimed Prof Jamal had pushed him first.
Though Blue Panel Convener Prof Abdul Aziz has called for the DU proctor be sacked following the incident, DU acting vice-chancellor Prof Md Akhteruzzaman said no probe committees had been formed to investigate the brawl, and the matter may be solved internally by the Blue Panel.
Prof Abdul Aziz told the Dhaka Tribune: “We had issued an ultimatum to the university authorities to sack the DU proctor by Friday for hurting AKM Jamal Uddin, but no steps have been taken by DU. We will make a decision on how to proceed with a tougher movement on Saturday.”