A UGC probe committee has found evidence of irregularities and corruption against the vice chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University in Gopalganj and has recommended his withdrawal.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) formed the committee on September 23 at the behest of the education ministry amid student protests for removal of VC Khondoker Md Nasiruddin for his alleged involvement in graft and irregularities.
“We have recommended taking legal action against Khondoker Nasiruddin for his involvement in irregularities and corruption in student admission, appointment of teachers and procurement,” a member of the probe committee told The Daily Star yesterday.
“In our probe, we found that the VC was running the university at will,” said the probe committee member seeking anonymity.
Meanwhile, the VC left his residence on the university campus under police protection around 9:00pm.
He was heading for the capital, Saidur Rahman Khan, superintendent of police in Gopalganj, told The Daily Star last night.
Despite repeated attempts, this newspaper could not reach VC Nasiruddin on his mobile phone.
Prof Dil Afroza Begum, a member of the committee and also UGC member, said the five-member body handed over its probe report to UGC Chairman Prof Kazi Shahidullah yesterday morning.
Talking to this newspaper in the afternoon, Shahidullah said, “I have received the report and forwarded it to the education ministry.”
Both Afroza and Shahidullah refused to give details of the report.
The UGC had asked the committee to probe the allegations of “tyrannical behaviour, irregularities, corruption and moral turpitude” against Nasiruddin.
On September 25, the five-member team, led by UGC member Muhammad Alamgir, went to the BSMRSTU campus and talked to teachers, students and others concerned. The team members stayed on the campus for two days.
Nasiruddin was appointed the VC in February 2015. The university now has 8,000 students, according to the UGC.
The students, who have been demonstrating on the university campus since September 18, alleged that the VC was involved in corruption in recruitment of some teachers and employees.
One such allegation was raised over the recruitment of Khondoker Mahmud Parvez, now chairman of the international relations department.
Parvez, also nephew of the VC, secured second class at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This means he didn’t qualify to be a teacher at the university as per the job advertisement published by the BSMRSTU authorities.
He joined BSMRSTU as a section officer in 2016.
The following year, he joined as a lecturer of the IR department, and in July 2018 he was promoted to assistant professor and became the chairman of the department the same year, flouting the rules.
Contacted, Mahmud refuted the allegation, and said, “I was appointed through proper process.”
He claimed that those who are against the VC are spreading such false allegations.
Besides, Akkas Ali, former chairman of computer science and engineering (CSE) department, was appointed a teacher in February 2016 allegedly in violation of the university rules.
Though the circular stated that the post of a lecturer required master’s degree, Akkas was taken in, and he completed his master’s from BSMRSTU after months of his joining.
“I did extremely well in the written examinations and viva voce. The recruitment committee and our VC sir were happy with me and gave me the appointment letter,” Akkas told this newspaper recently.
The agitating students continued their sit-in in front of the administrative building yesterday, demanding removal of the VC.
Tanvir Ahmed Shihab, a third-year student of the CSE department, said they would continue their protests until the VC is removed.
The students said Nasiruddin was involved in corruption in development projects including construction of Shaheed Minar and Bangabandhu’s mural on the campus.
They also brought allegations of sexual harassment against him, and claimed he had some students admitted to different departments in exchange for money.
They also said the university authorities suspended students and served show-cause notices to those teachers who spoke against them.
The students launched demonstrations on September 18, protesting the suspension of Faatema Tuz Zinia, a student of the law department and also university reporter of The Daily Sun, over a Facebook post.
In the wake of protest and huge criticism on social media, the university authorities withdrew the suspension order.
On September 21 morning, the authorities suddenly declared a 10-day vacation ahead of Durga Puja and asked the students to vacate dormitories by 10:00am. But the protests raged on.
The students alleged that goons, hired by the VC, attacked them the same day, leaving at least 20 injured.