For the second consecutive day, a number of the 137 staffers at Rajshahi University, who were unlawfully recruited by former Vice Chancellor Prof Abdus Sobhan, obstructed campus operations with their demand to allow them to join their posts.
Yesterday, a group of them confined treasurer Prof Akm Mostafizur Rahman Al Arif to his office for four hours.
Around 10am, around 50 of them — mostly former and current Chhatra League leaders of the campus — went to RU administrative building to meet acting VC Prof Ananda Kumar Saha.
Failing to find him, they proceeded to take position in front of the treasurer’s room and kept him there till 2:30pm.
Acting proctor Md Leaket Ali said the agitators afterwards took position at the administrative building and stayed there till this report was filed around 8pm.
RU BCL vice president Mahafuz Al Amin told The Daily Star that the acting VC had “promised” to have a discussion with them yesterday about the suspension of their joining. But the VC had not arrived at the campus yet, so they went to meet the treasurer and asked him to arrange a meeting with the VC.
We will continue our demonstration untill our demand is met, he added.
Contacted, acting VC Prof Saha said, “They came to my residence on Saturday (unannounced). So I told them to meet me at my office, not at my house.” He said there was no hard promise for the meeting.
“As the education ministry termed the recruitment illegal and ordered to suspend their joining, we are unable to do anything about it,” the VC said. “The current administration has no authority to sanction their recruitment.”
Asked about their demonstration over the last two days, he said, “I have already sent a letter to the education ministry describing the situation and asked for a solution. I hope they will take necessary steps and resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
On Saturday, RU authorities were forced to suspend their financial committee meeting after the aggrieved staffers locked the administrative building, senate building and VC residence.
On May 31, they confined four top university officials including the acting VC in a similar fashion and demanded they be allowed to join work.
On his last day in office on May 6, Prof Sobhan recruited at least 137 staffers, including nine teachers, sparking protests on the campus. The education ministry termed the recruitment illegal on the same day and initiated an investigation.
On May 8, the RU administration suspended the recruitment process.