JnU student Mim points finger at department chair for ‘injustice’ over her sexual harassment

“Since he is the chairman of the department, he is my guardian. He is supposed to be with me, instead, he went against me,” the JnU student said

Jagannath University Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 21 March 2024, 01:31 PM
Updated : 21 March 2024, 01:31 PM

Kazi Farjana Mim, a student of Jagannath University’s Film and Television Department who brought allegations of sexual harassment and unfair assessment of an examination against her faculty, says she did not get justice due to the actions of department chair Prof Junaid Ahmed Halim.

“The way he (Prof Halim) complained against me to the Detective Branch or DB of Dhaka Metropolitan Police is inappropriate. He is obstructing justice in my case,” Mim told the media at the university’s new building on Thursday.

“Since he is the chairman of the department, he is my guardian. He is supposed to be with me, instead, he is going against me and assuaging the accused teacher.”

Mim’s father Kazi Abdul Kuddus was also present while she spoke to the media.

“This campus is like my home but I am not safe here. That’s why I have reduced my visits to the campus,” Mim said.

Mim alleged that Prof Halim still roams around the campus with the accused teacher, contrasting it with DB Additional Commissioner Mohammad Harun Or Rashid’s assurance that nobody will threaten her again.

“I am visiting the campus today as the DB chief asked me to let him know if anyone intimidates me in any way. I am not getting any threats but I want a fair investigation into my allegations. I will also take part in the movement seeking justice over Abontika’s death.”

Mim brought allegations of sexual harassment against a course teacher amid controversy surrounding the death of Fairuz Abontika, a student of the university’s Law Department who died by suicide after accusing a classmate of sexually harassing her.

Abontika also blamed the university’s assistant proctor for threatening to expel her.

According to Mim’s complaint, one of her course teachers, lecturer Abu Shahed Emon, called her to his room citing academic reasons and sexually harassed her. Prof Halim, the chairman of the department, failed her in an honours examination after she took the issue to the concerned authorities to get justice.

Claiming Mim’s allegations as "baseless", Emon had previously said that she was trying to seek media attention using sympathy over Abontika’s death.

Denying Mim’s allegation of failing her in the exam, Prof Halim said, “Mim didn’t attend classes at all. Whereas a student cannot appear for an exam without 60 percent class attendance, Mim gave the exam. If she is not present in the class, there is no chance to give her marks."

The university syndicate has since temporarily suspended Emon and Halim over the incident.

Mim also wrote to the university’s chancellor, President Mohammed Shahabuddin, accusing two teachers of sexual harassment and unfair assessment of an examination.

She submitted her written application at the Bangabhaban on Tuesday, seeking ‘exemplary justice for bullying and sexual harassment’ over the incident. She also urged the head of the state to retrieve her life in the application.

Before that, Mim went to the DB headquarters in Dhaka to notify them of the allegations against the teachers. Mim and the accused teachers were called in to the DB office on Wednesday based on the complaints. DB Additional Commissioner Harun Or Rashid heard their stories afterwards.

“DB police summoned the accused teachers Emon and Halim and asked them not to commit any crime and intimidate us. The vice chancellor of the university also assured us to ensure a fair investigation into the complaints. We hope to get justice from the university and the law of the country,” Mim’s father Kuddus said.