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4 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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NSU teacher suspended on graft charge

Appeals to UGC
HARUN UR RASHID

The North South University (NSU) has suspended a senior teacher on the charge of gross anomalies and misappropriation of the funds meant for the university’s silver jubilee celebrations. Dilara Afroz Khan, the suspended teacher, was a full-time faculty member of the School of Business Economics for 12 years and the director of the Confucius Institute (CI) at NSU. She has challenged the decision in a letter to the University Grants Commission (UGC).

In an order signed on 1 January by the director (administration) of NSU, Brig. Gen. (retd) Mohammad Saber, the NSU authority has approved the suspension decision. The decision was taken at the 77th meeting of the board of trustees held on 31 December 2017.

Challenging the decision, Afroz submitted a letter to the UGC chairman on January 6, claiming that the “ambiguous allegations” against her were “absolutely false” and that “quarters with vested interests” were trying to “jeopardize” her “reputation and career”. She has sought a fair investigation into the allegation, as she was not given any option to defend herself.

Following Afroz’s application, the UGC has formed a three-member committee and requested the NSU authority not to take any decision until the matter is resolved.

In the letter, Afroz has stated that the NSU authority suspended her from services with immediate effect on the charges of gross anomalies and misappropriation of funds with regard to the expenditures made on the occasion of the silver jubilee of NSU in May 2017. The university authority has asked her to not step on the campus, she alleged.

“I have rendered my services with utmost dedication, sincerity, and honesty. I have organized, managed, and supervised various events of NSU in the past. No complaints have ever been made against me regarding my efficiency, sincerity, or financial transactions. In fact, I have received words of appreciation from the authority on several occasions,” the letter read.

About the allegations against her, she has written, “According to the rules of NSU, all financial transactions go through a very thorough and extensive process before being approved by the authorities. The expenditure I made (which was only a part of the total) for that particular event was approved by the authority before disbursement.”

“I submitted to the authority all the vouchers of the purchases/transactions corresponding to the expenditures I made. The NSU authority accepted the details of the accounts provided by me, along with the supporting documents, only after a thorough scrutiny of the expenditures and the verification of the vouchers, without raising any objection,” the letter added.

“Without making any query, suddenly, the NSU authority suspended me on the vague grounds of gross anomalies of funds,” she has alleged in the letter.

The teacher also requested the NSU authority “to appoint an independent auditor, or a chartered accountant firm” to audit the accounts.

“I am ready to cooperate with the authority whenever required and will appear before any independent body to clarify the details of the funds and the subsequent expenditures,” the letter said.

About her stance, she has written, “I did not misappropriate the funds of my share of the account, and the unspecified and ambiguous allegations made against me are absolutely false.”

In the letter, Dilara has requested “the authority to withdraw (her) suspension and allow (her) to continue with (her) services both as a core full-time faculty member and as a director of the CI, as the embargo imposed upon (her) is hurting (her) career and reputation”.

Despite several attempts, the NSU authorities could not be reached over phone for their comments on the issue.

Sources said the committee members had heard out Dilara Afroz Khan at the UGC office on Thursday. Now, they will listen to the NSU authorities’ version of the incident before giving a final report on the matter.

UGC sources said they have been formulating common service rules for private universities so that the teachers who work at these institutes can get justice, which includes the protection of their jobs, defensive measures when suspended, salaries, and promotion.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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