DU rights historic wrong
Sixty-one years after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was expelled from Dhaka University for his role in a movement of class four employees, the university authorities yesterday withdrew the expulsion order terming it “undemocratic and unjust.”
On March 26, 1949, the then DU authorities issued the expulsion order that also contained some conditions for its withdrawal.
But a rebel against anything unjust as he always was, the father of the nation, then a second year student of law department, turned down those conditions.
And he left the institution as an expelled student.
To get rid of this historic stigma and put the records straight, the DU Syndicate, the highest decision making body of the university, yesterday withdrew the expulsion order against the greatest leader of the nation.
The DU, which can rightly take pride that Bangabandhu was once a student of this institution, took the step just a day before his 35th death anniversary.
And on March 26, 1971, twenty-two years after his expulsion from the DU, the father of the nation declared independence and called upon the people to fight against the then Pakistani occupation forces for liberating the motherland. His historic call spurred the nation to take up arms against the Pakistani forces, and it ended in victory on December 16, 1971.
The DU Syndicate that met yesterday at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban praised the role played by Bangabandhu in the movement of class four employees.
“It was an expression of democratic spirit and farsightedness of the young student leader,” observed the syndicate meeting.
On March 26, 1949, the then executive council of DU expelled Bangabandhu and four other students on charges of 'instigating' a movement launched by class four employees demanding increase of salaries and allowances.
The executive committee gave some conditions for withdrawing the expulsion order. These included paying a fine of Rs 15 each and submitting a guarantee of good conduct from their guardians in prescribed form to the provosts concerned on or before April 17, 1949.
The four other students are Kalyanchandra Dasgupta, Naimuddin Ahmed, Nadera Begum and Muhammad Abdul Wadud. Their expulsion was withdrawn as they met the conditions.
Bangabandhu and the other students were expelled without issuing show-cause notices on them. It was against justice,” Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, who chaired the syndicate meeting, told journalists.
“We have taken the decision unanimously and we feel proud of taking this decision,” said syndicate member Prof M Akhtaruzzaman.
On March 3, 1949, class four employees called a strike to press home their demands as they could not realise those through discussions with the authorities. The DU students boycotted classes on the day in support of the strike.
The then East Pakistan Muslim Chhatra League had also called a student strike on March 5 and held a rally on the DU campus on that day. The rally decided to continue the strike until the demands of the employees were fulfilled.
The then DU authorities had also taken punitive action against 27 students to stop the movement.