18 days ago

DU professor on 3-month leave over alleged sexual harassment

He will abstain from all academic and administrative activities during this period

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Dhaka University has sent Professor Naadir Junaid of mass communication and journalism department to a three-month break from academic and administrative duties amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Prof Junaid’s leave starting on Monday aims to ensure the smooth operation of the university’s educational programmes, the Registrar’s Office said in a letter to the teacher amid protests.

Prof Abul Mansur Ahmed, the chairman of the department, read the letter aloud to calm the protesting students outside his office.

The letter mentioned that the allegations would be brought up at the next Syndicate meeting for a thorough investigation, and the next course of action would be based on the Syndicate’s decision.

A female student of the department accused Junaid of sexually and mentally harassing her amid allegations that the teacher willfully lowered the grade points of an entire batch.

The student lodged a written complaint with Proctor Prof Maksudur Rahman and submitted audio recordings and screenshots of messages on Saturday.

The complaint of sexual harassment details alleged instances of inappropriate behaviour, including suggestive comments, marriage proposals, and uncomfortable encounters.

However, Junaid claimed there was a conspiracy behind the allegations before becoming the next department chairman.

Meanwhile, students from the department continued boycott of classes for the second day, demanding a thorough investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against Prof  Junaid.

They also locked his office and sealed the classroom.

A poster with the message “Sexual oppressor Professor Naadir Junaid is not welcome on campus” was hung on his office door.

The students also submitted their three demands to Vice-Chancellor Prof ASM Maksud Kamal.

Their demands include quick formation of an investigation committee and the suspension of Junaid until the end of the investigation.

Students from all batches started protesting outside the department with placards, posters, and banners on Monday morning, At 2:30pm, they marched to the Faculty of Social Sciences buildin before proceeding to the VC’s office and residence, where their procession ended.

They dispersed after the department chairman read out the letter on Junaid’s leave later in the afternoon.

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