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

DU teachers live in fear

After Saturday's fatal attack on Prof Aftab Ahmed, hundreds of teachers of Dhaka University (DU) have been feeling that their lives are under threat. They think that this kind of heinous attack may take place again on the campus.

On Saturday, three unidentified assailants entering Aftab's residence on the campus fatally shot the former vice-chancellor (VC) of National University (NU) also a senior professor of the political science department of DU. He succumbed to his injuries yesterday.

Nurul Amin, professor of the political science department of DU, said the teachers are suffering from a sense of insecurity following the deadly incident, especially in the pre-election volatile situation.

"Attack on a teacher, after entering his house, did not happen before in the history of the university since the Liberation War; this is unprecedented," said Prof Dr Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman, general secretary of Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta).

Talking to The Daily Star a number of DU teachers expressed their fear that they are not safe even on the campus.

Whoever killed Prof Aftab they killed him intentionally in a bid to upset the country's political climate further in an already volatile situation, and this kind of an incident might repeat itself soon before the election, a DU teacher who is also a political analyst told this correspondent on condition of anonymity.

Earlier, on February 27, 2004, some unidentified assailants brutally hacked eminent writer Prof Humayun Azad on the campus while he was returning home from the Ekushey Book Fair.

He did not survive for long after the attack as his body was found in an apartment in Munich, Germany on August 12 the same year. He went there on a scholarship from Pen International.

Noban Ahmed of the economics department and Prof Humayun Kabir of the Bangla department were killed in 1972 and 1995 outside the campus.

"Prof Humayun Kabir, Prof Azad and Noban Ahmed were killed, now Prof Aftab has been killed and at least 10 DU teachers received death threats but the university authorities failed to take a single action," a senior professor said preferring anonymity.

Against the backdrop of repeated attacks on DU teachers, threats against them, deaths of students in road accidents and bomb scares on the campus, the authorities are finding it difficult to ensure security on the campus.

Following every incident the authorities renew their pledges of taking necessary steps, hold some meetings and after that they forget the matter, a number of teachers alleged.

DU Proctor Prof AK Firoz Ahmed said ensuring security on the vast campus is a difficult task. He said they have a good number of security men, but they are of no use. He also said the authorities are trying their best to ensure security for all on the campus.