A human chain was formed demanding arrest and speedy trial of North South University (NSU) Board of Trustee chairman Azim Uddin Ahmed and five others for their alleged involvement in irregularities and corruption.
Protection for Legal and Human Rights Foundation staged the human chain in front of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy at Segunbagicha in the capital on Tuesday morning.
The accused persons are NSU Board of Trustees Chairman Azim Uddin Ahmed, its four members – MA Kashem, Benajir Ahmed, Rehana Rahman and Mohammed Shajahan, and Ashaloy Housing and Developers Managing Director Amin Md Hilaly.
While speaking in the programme, Dr Sufi Sagar Sams, Adviser of the Protection for Legal and Human Rights Foundation, urged the authorities to impose a travel ban on the accused persons as they could not flee the country.
“The North South University has become a sanctuary of corruption, irregularities and militancy mainly due to the Azim-Kashem Syndicate. So filing of a case against them by ACC is undoubtedly commendable. But we do not understand why the accused are not being arrested. Each of the accused is influential and powerful in the society. So, we are demanding a speedy trial by imposing a travel ban and arresting them so that they can not interfere in the judicial process”, he said.
Dr Sufi Sagar Sams also said that Aziz AI Kaiser Tito, another trustee of North South University, was also involved in the scandal. His father, MA Hashem, was part of the syndicate when he was with the North South University. Tito is no exception but for some unknown reason Aziz AI Kaiser Tito has been dropped from the case. Action must be taken against all of those involved in North South University corruption.
President of Bangladesh Newspaper Employees Federation Matiur Rahman Talukder, chairman of Bangladesh Environment and Human Rights Implementation Society M Ibrahim Patwary and journalist leader Kalimulla Iqbal, students of various universities and their guardians, among others, addressed the human chain programme.
Earlier on May 9, the organisation made the same demand at a press conference at Sagar-Runi auditorium of the Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU).
The press conference was told that NSU, one of the country’s top private higher educational institutions, has been plagued by irregularities and corruption as well as militancy. Over 25,000 students have been held hostage by a syndicate of the NSU trustees. The university is failing to provide them with proper education due to corruption.
The university authorities have repeatedly denied the allegation of the NSU’s involvement in militancy. Blogger and writer Rajib Haider was hacked to death by militants in 2013. Nafis Imtiaz, a militant convicted in that case, started the process of his readmission into university after 10 years with the help of the university authorities. But he could not do it following media reports.
A barrage of complaints have been lodged with various government departments regarding irregularities, including disobeying the directives of the Grants Commission, purchase of land at high prices by top people of the university, taking commission from developers company, illegal purchase of luxury cars for nine members of the board of trustees with student tuition fees, taking seating allowance of Tk 1 lakh and receiving the same amount of allowance even after holding online meeting.
On May 5, ACC Deputy Director Farid Ahmed Patwary filed the case with its integrated district office in Dhaka against five members of NSU Trustee Board and the managing director of a development company for ‘misappropriating’ about Tk 304 crore.