Protests rage on countrywide

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:Protests and condemnations continued to pour in yesterday over the attack on Prof Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, an eminent writer and a teacher of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST).

People across the country held human chains and rallies, observed work stoppage and organised different cultural programmes protesting the attack and demanding exemplary punishment to all those involved.

Prof Iqbal was stabbed during a programme on the university campus in Sylhet around 5:30pm on Saturday and suffered injuries in the back of his head, one in his back and another in the left hand.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday paid a visit to the revered educationist at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka.

She met Prof Iqbal around 12:45pm and stayed there for 15 to 20 minutes, Maj Gen Munshi Md Mojibur Rahman, chief cardiac surgeon and consultant surgeon general of Bangladesh Armed Forces, told The Daily Star.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina talked to Prof Iqbal and Javed Patwary said Foyzur Rahman, who was caught red-handed after knifing the SUST professor, was “self-radicalised”.

“We have so far come to know that the attacker was self-radicalised,” he said, vowing to bring all the perpetrators to justice,” he said while addressing an anti-drug and terrorism programme as the chief guest at Jagannath University campus yesterday.

“We have had little chance to interrogate the suspect. But we have begun investigation. We will brief you when we have more. We have also detained his family members.

“Whoever is behind the attack, we will unearth them and bring them before justice.”

A case filed with Jalalabad Police Station is now being investigated by the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of DMP.

Foyzur, now under treatment at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital under police custody, has not been produced before any court yet as his physical condition is not well, said Munadir Islam Chowdhury, assistant commissioner of SMP.

Three other detainees, including an uncle of Foyzur, are in Rab custody as the elite force is trying to get more information about the attacker, ASP Main Uddin Chowdhury of Rab-9 said.

FOYZUR FOLLOWS ‘SALAFISM’

Some locals in Foyzur’s home village at Koliar Kapon of Dirai upazila in Sunamganj told this newspaper that the youth believes in Salafism, an ultra-conservative reform branch within Sunni Islam.

Though Foyzur used to live at his family house at Sheikhpara of Kumargaon in Sylhet Sadar upazila with his father and two brothers, he used to visit the home village regularly. He was not very much acquainted with the neighbours there.

His one brother and two uncles live in Kuwait and another brother used to stay in Dhaka who works in a garment factory.

Foyzur’s family was “Ahle Sunnah” followers like other villagers but he turned to Salafism as his uncles living in Kuwait and brothers are Salafist, said Abdus Shish, union parishad member of Jagadal in Dirai.

ABM Delwar, inspector (investigation) of Dirai Police Station, said Foyzur used to live in Sylhet and we get to know that he sold clothes from door to door when he went to his village home.

PROTEST CONTINUES

Teachers of SUST staged a two-hour sit-in and work stoppage from 11:00am to 1:00pm yesterday in protest at the brutal attack.

Gonojagoron Mancha in Sylhet arranged a cultural programme where Udichi Sylhet Sangshad, Nagarnat, Shikorh and Mrittikay Mahakal performed.

Students of Murari Chand College formed a human chain on its campus.

In Dhaka, Sammilito Samajik Andolan, a civil society platform, organised a rally in front of the National Museum.

Speaking at the rally, eminent media personality Ramendu Majumdar said, “We didn’t get justice for the blogger killings. That’s why the person like Prof Iqbal was attacked.”

He demanded punishment to those involved in the killings of bloggers and also to those who supported the attack on Prof Iqbal on social media.

Dhaka University Teachers’ Association formed a human chain at the foot of Aparajeyo Bangla on the campus, protesting the attack.

Attending the programme, DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman said the zealots have become active again to spoil the continuation of democratic process in the country.

Under the banner of “Progressive Teachers Society”, a section of Rajshahi University pro-Awami League teachers yesterday formed a human chain in front of the university’s Senate Bhaban around 11:00am.

RU Vice Chancellor Prof M Abdus Sobhan said attacking Prof Zafar Iqbal means attacking the spirit of Liberation War.

Rajshahi University Teachers Association also formed a human chain on the same place over the same issue.

Chittagong University Teachers Association observed an hour-long work stoppage from 10:00am to 11:00am while some campus-based journalists formed a human.

Over a hundred students of Jahangirnagar University organised a concert and rally around on the Shaheed Minar premises.

Similar programmes were also held in Patuakhali and Pabna.

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