Vol. 5 Num 831 Wed. September 27, 2006  
Front Page

Bullet-wounded Prof Aftab dies

Former vice-chancellor of the National University (NU) Prof Aftab Ahmed succumbed to his injuries in the city's Combined Military Hospital (CMH) yesterday morning after struggling for life since assailants shot him in his residence Saturday. He was 57.

Prof Aftab died at 9:10am following a cardiac arrest resulting from blood clots, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director quoted an attending doctor as saying.

Three unidentified youths shot Prof Aftab, a senior professor of political science at Dhaka University (DU), entering his Fuller Road residence, adjacent to the British Council on DU campus, on Saturday.

Severely wounded, he was rushed to Samorita Hospital with two bullet wounds--one in the chest and the other in the hip. Later, as his condition worsened he was transferred to the CMH.

As of last evening, the police could not arrest anyone in connection with the grisly attack. Neither could they unearth the motive for the killing.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of Dhaka University Teachers Association (Duta) Prof M Aktheruzzaman at a rally yesterday said he suspects the government intelligence agencies might have had a hand in the killing.

He said such a daring attack on the DU campus is impossible without involvement of any government agencies.

The namaj-e-janaza of Prof Aftab will be held at the DU central mosque at 11:00am today. He will be buried at the Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard in the city.

The body was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) morgue for post-mortem at around 4:30pm. Earlier, the CMH authorities handed over it to the police at 12 noon.

Hospital sources said the body was taken to the DMCH in an ambulance of Anjuman Mufidul Islam, dodging his wife Noorjahan Aftab who had been insisting on not carrying out an autopsy.

Her demand was turned down, as the post-mortem report is vital for a proper investigation into the murder, said sources.

Born on December 31 in 1949 at Mirzanagar of Begumganj upazila in Noakhali, Aftab passed the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams in 1966 and 1968 from Comilla Board.

He stood first class first in BA (honours) in political science from DU in 1971. He completed his master's from the same department in 1972. He had a PhD from the University of London in 1983.

Prof Aftab joined the political science department of Chittagong University in 1977 as a lecturer and was promoted to assistant professor in 1981 and associate professor in 1984.

During his stint at the CU, he served as a syndicate member and the chairman of the department. He was also elected president and general secretary of Chittagong University Teachers Association at different times.

A freedom fighter, he joined the DU as a professor of political science department in 1995. From July 2003 to July 2005, he served as the VC of the NU.

Dhaka University Teachers Association (Duta) brought out a mourning procession from the foot of Aparajeyo Bangla yesterday. Wearing black badges, the teachers marched to the Central Shaheed Minar where they held a brief rally.

The Duta leaders called for immediate measures to ensure security for the DU teachers.

Duta General Secretary Prof M Aktheruzzaman and Vice-president Prof Tazmery SA Islam spoke at the rally.

Meanwhile, additional police forces were deployed on the campus.

President Professor Dr Iajuddin Ahmed and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday expressed profound shock at the death of Prof Aftab.

The prime minister recalled the contribution of Prof Aftab as a student leader in the mass movements leading up to the Liberation War, reports BSS.

They also prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed sympathy to the bereaved family.

On receiving the news, Khaleda visited the CMH to see his body. She consoled Aftab's wife and near and dear ones present there.

DU Syndicate at a meeting yesterday demanded immediate arrest of the killers. The syndicate members observed a minute's silence in memory of Prof Aftab. The meeting was adjourned till 1:30pm today.

On a point of order in the House yesterday, ruling BNP lawmaker Moazzem Hossain Alal demanded punishment to the culprits responsible for Aftab's death.

Different political parties and student organisations including BNP, Jatiya Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, Zaker Party, the education minister and the social welfare minister expressed shock at the death of the DU professor.

A correspondent from Gazipur reports: More than 100 officials and employees of the NU blockaded the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway yesterday, demanding immediate arrest and trial of the killers of Aftab.

Meanwhile, the NU authorities yesterday declared a general holiday at the university for today at the death of former VC Prof Aftab Ahmed. Sources said some officials and employees, most of who got their jobs during Aftab's stint as the VC, pressured the NU into announcing the holiday.

Prof Aftab Ahmed