CoU officials reluctant to provide information to journalists

Information. One of the fundamental rights of citizen. Having the information is an indispensable part of the constitution. laws are enacted in the name of Right to Information Act, 2009 to ensure the rights of citizens’ information. To provide information, it has been said specifically in this Act.

However, Complaints are found that Comilla University (CoU) officials do not adhere to this law. Journalists, working in the university, wanted the basic information of various development works, but many officials of the university are unwilling to provide the information. Dignitaries think the people’s specific rights are being tarnished due to this kind of jobs. The family members of the university believe that the lack of reluctance and non-cooperation of officials to provide information of various development activities is an indication of opacity.

Different media workers from the university said, to get information about different issues, we have to go to various university officers. But recently officials are not co-operative in providing basic information. A national daily journalist of the university alleged that he went to Md. Shahabuddin, Assistant Director of Planning and Development Department and Md. Nasir Uddin Assistant Director of Finance and Accounts Department of the university, to know about the date of tender call for expansion of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Hall, the project expenditure including the duration of completing the project, and related basic information. But they didn’t help in providing information on various issues. He repeatedly requested them on 9 and 10 September, but they avoided him showing various excuses like permission or others.

If Contact them on various occasions for any information, they say that they need allowance of the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar, sometimes express direct inability, another journalist complains.

In the Right to Information Act, 2009, the rights of the information of the people are ensured in the article 2 (d) and contains descriptions. Related authorities are obliged to provide information, said in section 4 (a). It is also instructed to publish easily to the citizen under section 1 and 2 (1) of the article 6 of the Act. Although not violating the law of the section 7, officials have become regular employers of the university to not giving information according to the demand of journalists.

Susashoner Jonno Nagorik (Citizens for good governance) editor Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar said, ‘not providing information may be to hide any irregularities. Authorities are obliged to provide all information except certain issues. If they do not give information, seekers have to protest and go to the help of the law. It is a legal right.’ He and his organization will cooperate if any non-cooperation like this is obtained.

Eminent columnist Syed Abul Maqsud said, ‘they can’t help journalist have the information, in this situation, the case is to be lodged. The National Press Club secretary Farida Yasmin said, ‘Journalists are working for the sake of the people, not in their own interest. Having Information is right. ‘

When asked the University’s Registrar (acting) Md. Abu Taher about the complaints of journalists, he said, “documents about how much work is being done in the University, or what products have been used etc. cannot be provided” In reply to a question, if there is a mention of this in the university act, Taher said that these matters are not mentioned in the law of the University, these are the strategy of the University.


Mohiuddin Mahi, Comilla University Correspondent