A total of 56 teachers submitted their resignations with MBSTU Registrar Dr Touhidul Islam, including two Regent Board members, four deans, four provosts, 14 department chairpersons, and all house tutors and assistant provosts
A number of teachers at Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University on Monday handed in their resignations, after members of Chhatra League committed a string of infractions and unruly acts without any repercussions from the authorities.
A total of 56 teachers submitted their resignations with MBSTU Registrar Dr Touhidul Islam, including two Regent Board members, four deans, four provosts, 14 department chairpersons, and all house tutors and assistant provosts.
According to sources at the university, members of Chhatra League, led by its MBSTU President wing Sajib Talukdar, forced professors of the quantum mechanics department to allow an underperforming student to sit for an ongoing exam around 9:30am on Sunday. The student, Ishita Biswas, was ineligible for the exam after failing to attain the prerequisite Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).
When the teachers refused, the unruly group harassed and threatened them with violence. The Chhatra League members then stood guard around Ishita until she finished and submitted her exam paper.
After finishing her exam, Ishita called upon all the students present to protest for a change to the university ordinance that declared her ineligible for the exam. During this ruckus, the semester finals for the computer science and engineering, and textile engineering departments were dismissed.
Later, the institution’s teachers’ association called for an emergency meeting at 4pm, where they demanded that Sajib Talukdar and his cohorts be held accountable for their offences. The council then sent a signed petition to the vice-chancellor (VC) regarding their demands.
Around 7pm, a meeting was held at the VC’s office between the teachers and Chhatra League members.
However, halfway through the meeting, the members of the ruling party’s student wing exited the office and began rallying students from every hall, to start a protest to change the ordinance. This continued from 10:30pm to 3am.
The ordinance in question deals with the details of classes, exams, and results.
At one point during the protest, Sajib Talukdar said the VC had accepted their demands, and that a written petition from the students detailing the changes they want made to the ordinance would be sent to the official’s quarters in the morning.
However, after the students ceased their protest, the teachers unanimously decided to resign after failing to elicit any measure of justice from the VC.
Meanwhile, upon returning to their quarters, the female Chhatra League leaders involved in the protest found themselves in a scuffle with other female students. When Sajib was informed, he went to try to mediate the situation with the general secretary of his Chhatra League unit. However, after a brief exchange of words, the two were chased out of the girls’ quarters.
Later, the university proctor helped the female Chhatra League leaders enter their quarters peacefully.
Dr Md Shahin Uddin, president of the university’s teachers’ council, told the Dhaka Tribune: “We submitted our resignation letters on Monday afternoon because the authorities did not serve justice. We demand that immediate action be taken against the perpetrators.”
He added that two teachers of the physics department, Associate Professor Dr Anwar Hossain and Lecturer Mohiuddin Tasnim, were harassed by the members of Chhatra League.
The four Chhatra League MBSTU unit members accused of being the main perpetrators of the harassment are unit President Sajib Talukdar, Vice-Presidents Imran Mia and Adrita Panna, and Joint General Secretary Jabir Iqbal.
MBSTU Vice-Chanellor Dr Md Alauddin said: “We are looking into the matter, and those responsible for the unrest will be brought to justice.”