Manarat University: Govt reconstitutes trustee board over ‘militancy links’
The government yesterday reconstituted Manarat International University's board of trustees, abolishing the previous one, due to an allegation that some of the immediate-past members were involved in "militancy and anti-state activities".
The education ministry reconstituted the board from a meeting yesterday, deducting all the 11 members of the previous board.
It was reconstituted following an order of the president, also chancellor of the university.
In an order this newspaper obtained yesterday, Secondary and Higher Education Division (SHED) said different intelligence agencies in a probe have found evidence that members of the previous trustee board were involved in "terrorism, militancy and anti-state activities".
The order also said "some of them also provoked students of Manarat to be involved in politics of Jamaat". Provoking militancy and helping plan militant activities is a clear violation of existing laws, including Private University Act 2010, the order said.
Marufa Akter Popy, newly-appointed trustee board member, confirmed the matter yesterday night. At yesterday's meeting, held at SHED, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam was made chairman of the university's 13-member board of trustees.
Prof Sadeka Halim of sociology at Dhaka University, who is among the 13 members, attended the meeting.
She said, "The government reconstituted the trustee board as the university was found to be involved in anti-state activities, violating the law and penal code."
Other members include former senior secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamun, former senior secretary Sajjadul Hasan, National University vice chancellor Moshiur Rahman, DU international business department honorary professor Khandkar Bazlul Haque, Canadian University of Bangladesh professor Mohammad Ali Arafat, National Mental Health Institute and Hospital professor Mekhla Sarker, former president and general secretary of Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh Md Abdur Sabur, DU law department professor Salim Mahmud, Hasumonir Pathshala president Marufa Akhtar Poppy, Mahila Samity member Israt Jahan Nasreen, and Social Improvement Society executive director Mihir Kanti Ghoshal.
Contacted, Prof Md Nazrul Islam, vice chancellor of the university, claimed to be "totally ignorant" about the allegation as he was appointed in 2020.
He said the government intelligence bodies had started investigating the allegation even before his appointment. Finally, they placed the probe report last year.
Earlier on September 6, SHED issued a letter, inviting 23 personalities to recast the board of trustees.