POST TIME: 21 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
ACC starts probing RU vice- chancellor
Our Correspondent, RU

ACC starts probing RU vice- chancellor

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has started investigating the allegations of irregularities and corruption levelled against Rajshahi University (RU) vice- chancellor (VC) Prof. M Abdus Sobhan. The VC is alleged to have accepted bribes from job seekers, violated recruitment rules by appointing his daughter and her husband as teachers, and siphoned off funds from campus development projects.

The ACC sent a letter to the university registrar’s office requesting submission of the relevant and necessary documents by November 25. ACC deputy director Jahangir Alam confirmed this on Tuesday at the Rajshahi office. The RU authorities claimed that a group of teachers was conspiring against them after failing to secure the VC’s post and other facilities from the incumbent VC. They alleged that by submitting false data to the ACC, these teachers were trying to create anarchy on the campus.

Other sources said that after his appointment as VC in 2017, Sobhan became engaged in various irregularities. For instance, he hired his daughter, Sanjana Sobhan, as a lecturer at the newly opened hospitality and tourism management department, violating recruitment regulations by accepting a candidate with a lower cumulative grade point average (CGPA). The VC also hired ATM Sahed Parvez, Sanjana Sobhan’s husband, as a lecturer at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA).

In addition, it is alleged that the VC recruited teachers, officers, and employees after accepting bribes from the candidates and embezzled funds from ongoing development projects on the campus. The RU VC is said to have withdrawn about Tk. 86 lakh as pension pay from Agrani Bank’s RU branch, thus violating retirement rules as well. The ACC is looking into all these charges.

The letter issued by the ACC has directed the authorities to submit all documents relevant to the recruitment of teachers, employees, and officers between 2017 and 2019. Reasons for recruiting certain candidates and rejecting others, even when the rejected candidates had higher CGPAs, will have to be explained.

The ACC has also asked for documentation pertaining to issues discussed and decisions made at the 473rd and 475th syndicate meetings. The RU authorities will have to provide the CV, result sheet, academic merit position, and job circular relevant to the recruitment of Sanjana Sobhan, along with the details of other candidates who failed to secure the position at the hospitality and tourism management department.

Similarly, the ACC demanded the relevant data pertaining to the recruitment of her husband, Sahed Parvez, at the IBA.

In addition, the ACC’s letter ordered the authorities to submit recruitment records pertaining to the last eight teachers hired at the Institute of Education and Research and four teachers in the clinical physiology department. The corruption watchdog wants to determine why these candidates were selected over others who had higher CGPAs.

However, RU proctor Prof. Dr Luthfor Rahman said no letter had reached his office. “A group of teachers is conspiring against our VC. I hope they do not get their way as our VC appointed all candidates in accordance with the rules and regulations,” he added.

ACC deputy director Alam said: “We're looking into irregularities at RU. We'll proceed after receiving the relevant documents from the varsity authorities.” Earlier, a group of teachers and students led protests on the RU campus demanding the resignation of VC Sobhan and Pro-VC Prof. Choudhury Md Zakaria alleging their involvement in various irregularities.