A significant number of IUT alumni also helped and gave statements to the reporter in support of the aforementioned claims, including one of IUT’s ex faculty
Islamic University of Technology sent a rejoinder to a report titled “Foreign students at IUT accused of sexual harassment” published in Dhaka Tribune on September 14, 2021.
Following is the rejoinder summary:
“Regretfully, the story has been published expressing only one-sided views without giving due importance and priority of the observation of the university authorities which have all the potential of tarnishing the prestige of your newspaper for providing misleading information to your valued readers.
Moreover, your report - which seems to be a little defamatory and largely based on hearsay and distorted fact - may adversely affect the standing of this seat of higher learning established by the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and thereby reputation of its host country, Bangladesh.
Regarding the punishment of the student and staff member as mentioned in the report, we would like to point out that IUT has its own rules, regulations, conventions and practices to take disciplinary action taking into cognizance, the rights of both the accused and the victims. Allegations against any student or staff member are thoroughly investigated and appropriate punishment is awarded only upon being satisfied by the authorities that the offence has been perpetrated by the accused beyond any reasonable doubt.
Punishment is awarded commensurate with the degree of culpability but not on the basis of perception or rumour. In this context, it is worth-remembering that considering the severity of misconduct, a student was expelled for good from the university and he was deported back to his home country.
We would like to reiterate the fact that we follow a policy of `zero tolerance' towards any unbecoming behavior by any student or member of the staff -whether foreigner or local.”
Dhaka Tribune’s reports on IUT mentioned specific incidents upon checking by substantial evidence, including CCTV footage and screenshots of conversation. Dhaka Tribune directly reached out a dozen students from different batches to verify the claims made by three IUT students who came forward with the allegations in the first place. A significant number of IUT alumni also helped and gave statements to the reporter in support of the aforementioned claims, including one of IUT’s ex faculty.
Dhaka Tribune correspondent also approached the Vice Chancellor for his version multiple times but with no avail. Later, the response sent by the IUT Registrar avoided many queries and statements that were asked by the reporter.
The one case of Urmi Jahan (not her real name) was specifically pointed out to show how IUT administration failed to take appropriate action against a sexual misdemeanor and she was victimized again because the offender was not duly punished.
The suspension of a foreign student and the offense of that particular student were also not disclosed by the authorities.
According to our availed information, the last incident took place in 2019. And since then, the university was closed down for two years due to the pandemic. Even if these are old cases, the IUT authority was well aware of these when they happened.
It’s their negligence and failure to ensure the safety of the female students that have pushed them to come forward as whistleblowers.
As such, Dhaka Tribune stands by its report.