Published: February 12, 2024, 07:53 PM
Dhaka University administration on Monday sent Prof. Naadir Junaid of the Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) department to three months of forced leave in light of allegations of a sexual harassment complaint filed by a female student.
The department`s chairperson Abul Mansur Ahmed read out the university`s official decision to the students in the department’s corridor around 4:30 pm.
“In the interest of maintaining the smooth operation of the university`s educational activities, you are required to take a leave for three months starting from February 12, abstaining from all academic and administrative responsibilities,” he announced in the letter in front of the students.
“Furthermore, the matter will be presented in the next syndicate meeting for a thorough investigation into the allegations raised against you. Any necessary actions will be taken in accordance with the decisions made by the syndicate,” he added.
The students of the department started gathering in the department’s corridor from 10 am this morning for the second day to press home their three points of demand following yesterday`s decision to boycott all academic activities indefinitely.
Around 2:15 pm, they carried out a protest rally that marched to the Vice Chancellor’s office where they went to submit their memorandum.
As the VC was not present in the office then, they marched to the VC`s residence. There, the department`s chairperson Abul Mansur Ahmed requested them to wait till 4 pm as he said the VC was in a meeting with foreign delegates.
Abul Mansur Ahmed said, “Wait till 4 pm, VC sir confirmed he will give a written final decision about your demands.”
Before heading to meet the VC, as part of their protest, the students locked and sealed the professor`s office and the department`s classrooms.
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.
Following the complaint, students from all batches collectively announced an indefinite class boycott and protest program on Saturday night. Additionally, the students declared Prof. Naadir persona non-grata on campus.
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.