The authorities of Dhaka University today terminated a professor from his job on charges of distorting the country’s history and defaming Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The decision to terminate Prof Morshed Hasan Khan was taken at a meeting of the university’s syndicate, a member of the syndicate told The Daily Star.
He was professor of marketing department under the Faculty of Business Studies.
Earlier on April 2, 2018, DU authorities suspended him over allegations of distorting history of the Liberation War and defaming Bangabandhu and said the punishment will be effective until further notice.
Morshed had made some remarks on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and on the history in his article titled “Jyotirmoy Zia”, published in a national daily on March 25, 2018.
In the article, Morshed termed Ziaur Rahman as the “announcer of independence” and claimed that most of the then Awami League leaders including Bangabandhu left the country during the war.
Soon after publishing the article, activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League protested on the DU campus on the next day.
The BCL men staged a demonstration on the campus demanding punishment of the teacher and declared him “persona non grata”.
They also submitted a memorandum to the vice-chancellor urging the authorities for taking immediate actions against him. Dhaka University Teachers’ Association (Duta) in a statement also demanded legal actions against the professor.
Following the protest, Morshed in a Facebook post issued an apology in this regard.
Meanwhile, teachers of the BNP-backed panel of DU issued a statement protesting the decision, saying that Prof Morshed was terminated just because he is a follower of different political party and views.
“Terminating him from the university is an unprecedented example although he expressed sorrow and sought apology for the unwanted remarks made in the article and it was removed. He was relieved unlawfully just because he is follower of a political party of dissenting views,” the statement read.
Referring to DU order 1973, they said article 56 of the order said that a teacher can be terminated if his offences related to moral degradation or incapability is proved, but Prof Morshed is not accused in any of the aforementioned allegations. Also, article 56 (2) gave the teachers right to exercise politics or freedom of expression.
“We strongly protest and condemn the decision and demand him to be reinstated to his post,” added the statement, signed by white panel convener Prof ABM Obaidul Islam.