A teacher of Dhaka University’s economics department, who was sent on forced leave in 2017, was staging sit-in in front of the department chairman’s room for the third consecutive day yesterday -- demanding to be reinstated to his duties.
The image of the assistant professor, Rushad Faridi, holding a placard that reads “I’m a teacher, let me go back to classroom” went viral on social media platforms.
On the third day, a number of students joined the teacher, expressing solidarity with him.
A syndicate meeting chaired by the then vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique sent Faridi into forced leave on July 13, 2017 after the Economics department filed a complaint with the VC alleging that he personally attacked some of his colleagues in a few of his Facebook posts.
Talking to The Daily Star, Faridi claimed that he was always outspoken about irregularities in the department, and became a victim of personal grudges.
The DU teacher also sent a legal notice to five people, including then VC Arefin Siddique, demanding reconsideration of the decision. But he never got any response, he added.
On July 24, 2017, the High Court questioned the legality of the syndicate’s decision to send Faridi on forced leave.
The court then issued a rule asking the authorities concerned of DU to explain in two weeks why the syndicate’s decision to send Faridi on forced leave should not be declared illegal.
After a legal battle of two years, on August 25 this year, the High Court declared the syndicate’s decision illegal, and also ordered the DU authorities to allow Faridi to join work.
The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam came up with the verdict following a writ petition filed by Rushad Faridi, challenging the legality of DU syndicate’s decision to send him on forced leave.
Faridi said he is yet to receive the certified copy of the verdict but he submitted his lawyers’ signed copy both at the department and university.
He also alleged that the department chairman Professor Shafique uz Zaman refused to receive his letter and also misbehaved with him, thus he could not join at the department.
Meanwhile, the Economics department yesterday issued a statement saying that they are yet to receive any copy of the verdict and the responsibility of allowing him to resume his academic duties is up to the university, not the department.
“The economics department will take further steps following directive of the university authorities,” the statement reads.