POST TIME: 4 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 4 March, 2018 01:33:33 AM
Prof Zafar Iqbal stabbed
‘Out of danger’ SUST teacher and writer admitted to CMH in Dhaka, attacker held

Prof Zafar Iqbal stabbed

Prof Zafar Iqbal is being taken to Osmani Medical College and Hospital after an attempt on his life on the Sylhet University of Science and Technology campus yesterday. (More pictures on page-2) Independent Photo

Eminent writer and academic Md Zafar Iqbal was stabbed in full public view on the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) campus yesterday. The prolific author was first admitted to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College and Hospital yesterday evening where he was placed under the supervision of Assistant Professor Rashedunnabi of the hospital’s neurosurgery department.Later he was flown to Dhaka for better treatment on an air ambulance at about 10pm and admitted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Dhaka Cantonment yesterday night.

Students helped the police arrest the attacker immediately after he stabbed Prof Iqbal. The locals identified the attacker as Foyzur Rahman aka Foyzul (24), son of Hafizur Rahman from Jagannathpur upazila under Sunamganj district. Foyzul lived near SUST campus at Sheikhpara of Kumargaon with his family members, they said. The locals also claimed that Foyzul claimed himself to be a student of a madrasa, but he actually didn’t study.

According to hospital sources, Prof Iqbal was out of danger as his injuries were not deep and that doctors cleaned and stitched his wounds.

The attack took place around 5:40pm in the Muktamancha area of the SUST. Prof Iqbal was on his way to the concluding session of a two-day festival of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department in Shaheed Minar area of the campus.

SUST Proctor Zahir Uddin Ahmed told reporters that the attacker suddenly

appeared behind the podium and stabbed Prof Iqbal on the back of his head.

The students beat up the attacker and handed him over him in an unconscious state to the policemen on duty. But, his identity or the motive behind the attack has not been revealed yet. His age is approximately 20-25, said witnesses.

Some students felt the attack might have been the doing of militants. Also, at the inaugural function of the festival, Prof Iqbal had expressed resentment over the ‘mild’ punishment meted out to five SUST students for ragging. He said they should have been handed over to the police.

Prof Iqbal was taken to the Osmani Medical College and Hospital at once and his treatment is under way, said the proctor.

In the meantime, students started demonstrating on the campus, protesting against the attack on Prof. Iqbal, demanding exemplary punishment for the attacker.

The officer-in-charge (OC) of Jalalabad Police Station, Shaifqul Islam, said they were trying to bring the situation under control. Tight security measures have been taken in and around the campus, he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina strongly condemned the attack on Zafar Iqbal yesterday and asked the authorities concerned to bring the perpetrator to justice.

"The prime minister is constantly enquiring about Prof Zafar Iqbal," PM's press secretary Ihsanul Karim said.

The ruling Awami League also condemned the attack on Prof Iqbal. Terming the attack as cowardice, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader in a party press release said the attack on Prof Zafar Iqbal was happened in a bid to create an anarchic situation in the country.

The AL general secretary also urged the home ministry to take immediate action in this regard and bring the attack mastermind to book.

On the other hand, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir expressed concerns over the attack and said the attack is a part of a “plan to catch fish in troubled water”.

"The BNP thinks it’s a plot. It’s a plot to catch fish in troubled water," Fakhrul said in his reaction to the attack.

Meanwhile, Ganajagoron Mancha yesterday protested the attack on Zafar Iqbal and demanded punishment of the attacker. Imran H Sarker, spokesperson of the Mancha, said, “If these types of attacks on progressive people continue, we will face difficult situation in near future.”