Published: February 12, 2024, 09:55 AM
The students of Dhaka University`s Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) department have declared an indefinite boycott of all academic activities, demanding the immediate suspension of Prof. Naadir Junaid, who faces a formal sexual harassment complaint filed by a female student.
Additionally, the students have declared Prof. Naadir persona non-grata on campus. Students from all batches collectively announced an indefinite class boycott and protest program on Saturday night, reports UNB.
In a memorandum submitted to the department’s chairperson, Prof Abul Mansur Ahmed on Sunday morning, students raised three key points: urgent formation of an inquiry committee to investigate the sexual harassment allegations against Prof. Naadir Junaid; swift and decisive punishment for sexual predators; and the suspension of the teacher from all academic activities during the investigation period.
“Under the current circumstances, all current students of the department have decided to boycott all academic activities, including classes and examinations, until action is taken against the allegations of sexual harassment and psychological abuse against Professor Nadir Junaid,” the students wrote in the memorandum.
“We are steadfast in our decision not to resume classroom activities until our demands are addressed. If required, more measures may be taken,” it added.
Beginning at 8:30 am on Sunday, students gathered in the department corridor, displaying placards and banners, while chanting slogans against Prof. Naadir Junaid, reports our DU correspondent.
Posters declaring Prof. Naadir persona non-grata were displayed on the department`s notice board and in various locations across the campus.
Following discussions with the Department Chairperson and two other faculty members, who visited the Vice Chancellor’s office to address the matter after receiving the memorandum, protesting students organised a procession that moved towards the VC office via Mall Chhatar, concluding at the base of Aparajeyo Bangla.
During a human chain that then formed at the base of Aparajeyo Bangla, several students from different batches gave speeches.
The department chairperson, Abul Mansur Ahmed, said that the matter was discussed with the university VC and that a decision would be made based on the university’s formal procedure for dealing with such matters.
“After submitting a written complaint to the proctor yesterday, the students provided me with a memorandum today. After receiving the memorandum, two other teachers and I had a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor, where the DU proctor was also present. The vice-chancellor assured the representatives of the students that a decision would be reached soon on this matter,” Abul Mansur Ahmed said in his official statement.
Some students were also called to the VC office for discussions, and they later announced that, as no concrete decision regarding the suspension of Prof. Naadir came from the meeting, they would uphold their decision to indefinitely boycott academic activities.
Attempts to reach the university’s VC, ASM Maksud Kamal, were unsuccessful as his phone was switched off.
Earlier, a student of Dhaka University filed a written complaint alleging sexual harassment and prolonged psychological abuse against Prof Naadir Junaid of the university`s Mass Communication and Journalism Department on Saturday morning.
In the complaint submitted to the Proctor, Md. Maksudur Rahman, the student brought a host of allegations, including threatening her in various ways for not accepting his romantic advances, monitoring her through the CCTV camera, continuously calling her at odd hours, and expressing sexual interest.