Protests condemning the attack on popular author Muhammed Zafar Iqbal continued across the country for the third day on Monday (5th March).
Zafar Iqbal, also a professor at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, was stabbed by Fayzul Hasan, 24, son of Atiqur Rahman of Sunamganj, causing serious injury in the back of his head on the university campus Saturday afternoon and was later sent to Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka.
Teachers at several universities held sit-ins and work abstentions and formed human chains protesting at the attack while students held processions and rallies.
Some socio-cultural organisations and rights groups also condemned the attack on the author of numerous science-fictions, who had received death threats many times from extremist groups.
Dhaka University Teachers’ Association in the morning formed a human chain at the altar of Aparajeyo Bangla protesting at the attack on Zafar Iqbal.
Addressing the human chain, DU vice-chancellor professor Md Akhtaruzzaman said that a vested quarter was trying to make political gains ahead of upcoming national elections and the attack was an example of such efforts.
Teachers’ association president professor ASM Maksud Kamal urged all to be united against the evil forces that want to disrupt democratic practices in the country and impede the culture of free thinking.
The Faculty of Fine Arts held a human chain, joined by teachers and students, in front of the faculty protesting at the attack.
Teachers of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology observed a sit-in from 11:00am to 1:00pm to protest at the attack on their colleague.
Terming the attack ‘a heinous crime’, vice-chancellor professor Farid Uddin Ahmed urged teachers and students to come forward to ensure security on the campus.
Professor Syed Hasanuzzaman, president of SUST teachers’ association, said it was a planned attack against the spirit of the Liberation War and free thinking.
A silent procession was brought out by teachers and students of CSE department, electrical and electronic engineering department and software engineering department.
At Chittagong University, teachers observed
work abstention for an hour from 10:00am condemning the attack and demanding punishment for the attackers.
Islamic University Teachers’ Association formed a human chain in front of the university’s arts faculty building attended by 300 teachers and students. Speakers at the event demanded exemplary punishment for the attackers so that none could do such a heinous act in future.
In Dhaka, citizens’ platform Sammilita Samajik Andolan organised a human chain in front of National Museum at Shahbagh. Freedom fighter Tarek Ali, president of the platform, said the attack indicates that the government failed to ensure security of progressive minds.
At the event, rights activist Khushi Kabir and cultural activist Ramendu Mazumder also spoke.
In Jhenaidah, journalists formed a human chain at Jhenaidah post office intersection to protest at the attack.
Ganajagaran Mancha has announced forming human chains at all the educational institutions of the country today and holding
protest rallies across the country on March 8 while Sammilita Sangskritik Jote has announced forming human chains at all the Shaheed Minars of 64 district headquarters this afternoon.