"We expelled her because she has committed a crime."
A Bangladeshi MP has been accused of hiring 8 look-alikes to take her place in university exams.
Tamanna Nusrat allegedly paid the doppelgangers to take at least thirteen exams. She had been studying at the Bangladesh Open University.
As a result of the alleged fraud, Nusrat has been expelled from the university.
Nusrat is from the ruling Awami League Party. She holds one of fifty seats in parliament reserved for women after she was elected in 2018.
The scandal came to light after the private Bangladeshi broadcaster Nagorik TV entered a test hall and exposed the cheating by confronting one of the women pretending to be Nusrat.
The broadcaster alleged that so far, thirteen exams have been held over four terms. However, the Bangladeshi MP had not taken any of them.
The university’s vice-chancellor, Professor MA Mannan announced the action taken against Nusrat. He said that her expulsion was due to her committing a crime.
“We expelled her because she has committed a crime. A crime is a crime.
“We have cancelled her enrollment. She will never be able to get admitted here again.”
He went on to explain that a committee was looking into whether legal action would be taken against the MP, those who took her place or any college authorities. Professor Mannan added:
“She will not be allowed in any examination under the university again.”
A college official claimed that the scandal was no secret but nobody said anything due to her influential family. He also said that her look-alikes had protection.
“The proxy students were protected by the MP’s musclemen when they sat for the tests.
“Everybody knew it but nobody uttered a word because she is from a very influential family.”
While the scandal is high-profile, cheating and the leaking of exam papers are common. This tends to result in exam cancellations by the authorities.
Nusrat is the widow of Lokman Hossain, the former mayor of Narsingdi District in Dhaka.
He was shot dead on November 2011, which led to a murder investigation. A case was registered against fourteen people while the main suspect was identified as Mobarok Hossain Moba for arranging the murder.
Moba fled to Malaysia a week before the murder, however, he was arrested when he returned to Bangladesh.
Other suspects had already been arrested in connection with the murder but were later released on bail.