Outgoing BSMMU VC's aides 'assaulted' amid protests over 'recruitment graft'

Sharfuddin Ahmed faces allegations of accepting bribes for job placements at the university

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 23 March 2024, 09:11 AM
Updated : 23 March 2024, 09:11 AM

The aides of Prof Sharfuddin Ahmed, the outgoing vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), have reportedly been assaulted amid protests against a controversial hiring spree at the end of his tenure.

On Saturday, members of the pro-Awami League doctors' group, Swadhinata Chikitshak Parishad (Swachip), gathered outside the VC's office, accusing Sharfuddin of accepting bribes for job placements at the university. Both university officials and nurses participated in the demonstrations.

During the protest, Sharfuddin's personal assistant Dr Russel Ahmed was allegedly slapped and driven out of the VC's office, while another one of his aides was removed from the university's super specialised wing.

Addressing the incidents, Vice-Chancellor Sharfuddin said, “I've been informed about some people being attacked. I plan to discuss this with law enforcement."

Sharfuddin's term as vice-chancellor end on Mar 28. He will be replaced by Prof Deen Md Nurul Haque, the former director general of the health services.

Sharfuddin faces allegations of making "hundreds" of questionable appointments of teaching officers and employees as his term neared its end.

Ariful Islam Joarder, the member secretary of Swachip's BSMMU unit, stated, “Following the announcement of Prof Deen's appointment as the new VC, there has been some protest because he comes from outside the university. However, those of us who have been associated with the Chhatra League since our student days and now lead Swachip have accepted and welcomed the prime minister's appointment."

“Normally, an outgoing VC only handles day-to-day administrative tasks. But the current vice-chancellor has initiated appointments for more than 100 doctors, staff, and about 30 administrative officers. Everyone suspects these appointments involve financial transactions."

He continued: “If the syndicate does not approve these hires, the money will have to be returned. We've been trying to prevent these money-driven hires. It's common knowledge here that no job is secured without payment. The vice-chancellor has turned BSMMU into a commercial enterprise."

Sharfuddin allegedly made numerous appointments for kickbacks over the past three years, which have been reported in the media, according to Tito. He called for an independent judicial inquiry into the matter.

On Swachip's efforts to block the appointments, Ariful said, "We aim to prevent the syndicate from convening, which is why we're protesting. We will not tolerate corruption in Bangabandhu's name. We trust the incoming VC will build a corruption-free campus environment."

Asked about the accusations of corrupt hiring practices, Sharfuddin said, "The recruitment process has already been finalised, and the decision to convene the syndicate has been made. Those opposing the recruitment process have not approached me."

"All actions were taken with full transparency."