Friday, January 11, 2013

Acid attack on University Teachers in Bangladesh

Begum Rokeya University of Bangladesh has been declared closed for an indefinite period by the university authorities today (January 11, 2013) in a sequel of first time ever acid attack on teachers of the university. Assistant Prof Matiur Rahman of management studies and Lecturer Tuhin Wadud of Bangla – were said to be critically injured for acid attack on them. 

Earlier in the day, ruling party’s student front Bangladesh Chhatra League activists, attacked the demonstrating teachers and students. After the attacks, the demonstrators started a hunger-strike programme. 

Registrar Shahjahan Ali Mandal told that an emergency meeting of the Academic Council held at around 9:30pm at the VC’s residence took the decision. 

VC Mia is in Dhaka on being called by Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid. “The meeting has decided to indefinitely suspend all academic and administrative activities of the university,” he said and added Around evening, the university authorities slapped a ban on all types of demonstration on the campus. 

The decision was followed by the institution’s closure. Braving the embargo, the demonstrators are pressing on with their programmes. A large number of police have been deployed on the campus to avert any unpleasant incident. 

A leader of the demonstrating teachers, M Hafizur Rahman, said they will continue with their movements as they were left with no options after the attack. “Our demonstration will continue until our demand is realised,” he said. 

The demonstrators alleged that Chhatra League activists detonated crude bombs and threw acid on them around 10am. At least 18 demonstrators have been injured in the attack. Among them, two teachers of the university -- Assistant Prof Matiur Rahman of management studies and Lecturer Tuhin Wadud of Bangla – were said to be critically injured. 

Rangpur Medical College and Hospital Director Dr Golam Mostafa had told that faces of the duo were completely burned but added they were not in danger of losing their eyesight. 

One of the injured teachers, Hafizur Rahman, alleged they were against VC Mia because he was neck-deep in corruption. A faction of the university’s teachers, united under the banner of ‘Sachetan Shikkhak Samaj’, has been demonstrating over the past several days over four-point charter of demands including the VC’s removal. 

They were later joined by a group of students under the ‘Sammilita Chhatra Samaj’. The demonstrators erected a podium in front of the VC’s office on Saturday and had been demonstrating there since.

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