JU fires Johnny following prolonged probe into allegations of sexual harassment - Dainikshiksha

JU fires Johnny following prolonged probe into allegations of sexual harassment

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In a significant development, the Jahangirnagar University administration has terminated the employment of assistant professor Mahmudur Rahman Johnny of the Department of Public Health and Informatics.

Following the conclusion of a prolonged investigation into the allegations, all of which had a sexual harassment component, while some were exacerbated by academic misconduct, the decision was announced on Tuesday night during a syndicate meeting of the university, according to University Registrar Abu Hasan.

Mahmudur Rahman Johnny, a former Chhatra League leader who even led the JU campus unit of the ruling party student front sought a career in academia, was facing multiple accusations of sexual harassment, which were substantiated by the findings of a structured committee report.

Prior to the conclusion of the trial, there were visible signs of unrest among the students and teachers due to the absence of Vice-Chancellor Nurul Alam Siddique. A committee member, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that Johnny had admitted to all allegations of sexual harassment in a written statement. The committee members were convinced of his guilt, leading to his dismissal from the university.

The decision to take disciplinary action against Johnny in the syndicate meeting has brought relief to the students and faculty who were disturbed by the prolonged trial. Activists involved in the movement against sexual harassment believe that the recent incidents have increased pressure on the university administration to address such issues seriously.

Alif Mahmud, convenor of the JU Chhatra Union, commented on the situation, stating, "Despite being accused of ethical misconduct, Johnny has openly admitted to his involvement, and the current Vice-Chancellor, Nurul Alam, continues to hold the chair with his support. If he is judged, he will reveal four to five more faces, including the Vice-Chancellor. We believe this is why the Vice-Chancellor is afraid to conduct the trial."

Anisa Parveen Jolly, a professor in the History Department, expressed optimism that such incidents of sexual harassment would decrease in the future, creating a safer environment for both students and faculty.

Prof. Jolly stated, "Johnny has violated the sanctity of the classroom, despite being a part of the Environmental Science department. He has roamed the campus with influential teachers from the administration. They have turned the campus into a place where perpetrators, miscreants, and murderers are safe."

Johnny, a member of the 36th batch of the Department of Environmental Science, served as the president of the JU branch of the Bangladesh Chhatra League in 2012.

In 2018, he was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Public Health and Informatics, eventually rising to the position of Assistant Professor. Since his appointment, he faced multiple allegations of "unethical" relationships with several female students.

On November 21, 2022, an intimate photo (selfie) of Johnny and a lecturer appointed in the same department, was put up on posters across the sprawling JU campus.
At the same time, the audio of an intimate conversation with a student of Batch #43, who had applied for a teaching post at the department, came to light, where Johnny forced the victim to have an abortion. Besides, pictures and information of “immoral” relations between Johnny and several BCL leaders and “indecent” chats came to light.

In view of this, a section of teachers and students protested demanding proper action against Johnny.
Later, on December 8, 2022, a preliminary investigation committee was formed to probe Johnny for allegedly having immoral relations with multiple students. The committee ordered the investigation report by January 31 this year. At that time, Johnny was forced to leave the post of assistant proctor of the university. Still the authorities seemed too indifferent to this plight suffered by - proportionately - a small section of the female student body.source: unb

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