The institution was abandoned right after the BNP-Jamaat government came to power in 2001
Named after the Father of the Nation, the Bangabandhu Institute of Liberation War and Bangladesh Studies in Gopalganj has turned into a safe haven for snakes and animals instead of aspiring students.
Constructed under the National University (NU) during the early parts of 2001, the institute was abandoned right after the BNP-Jamaat government came into power.
The institute was later handed over to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman University of Science and Technology (BSMRSTU) in 2013 following instructions from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
However, the transfer was conducted verbally and the NU and BSMRSTU authorities are yet to sign official documents. The two parties, so far, have failed to take any steps to restore the institute.
To make matters worse, as a result of the years of negligence and mistreatment, the walls of the institute building are now coming off, most of the doors and windows remain broken and the compound has become a home for both wild and domestic animals.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Dr Abu Saleh, one of faculty members at the Bangabandhu Institute of Liberation War and Bangladesh Studies, said: “Our institute building was used for the classes of Sheikh Hasina Agriculture Institute of the BSMRSTU. Then, at one point, only a single room was allotted for the use of the Bangabandhu Institute of Liberation War and Bangladesh Studies.
“Our students have been attending lectures at a hall room in the BSMRSTU main campus since 2019, when the former vice chancellor of the university Khandaker Nasir Uddin had to resign from his post after a student protest.”
According to Rakib, a student of BSMRSTU, the Bangabandhu Institute of Liberation War and Bangladesh Studies is located quite far away from the university and does not have enough space to accommodate the number of students studying under it.
He demanded the institute building, premises to be properly cleaned in order to create an ideal learning environment for the students.
The locals have also urged the authorities concerned to take all the necessary steps for the restoration of the institute’s building, as it is named after Bangabandhu and should honour his memory.
When contacted, the current BSMRSTU Vice Chancellor Prof AQM Mahbub said: “We wanted to launch new programs under the institute but the Covid-19 pandemic prevented us from doing so.
“Also, we are yet to officially receive the responsibility of the institute. We will start the necessary restoration work after that happens.”