The Pabna college teacher, who was assaulted on Sunday allegedly by activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), said he could not attend classes or file any case against the powerful thugs out of fear for his life.
In a CCTV video footage, that went viral since the attack, a group of youths were seen pouncing, one of them kicking, on Masudur Rahman, lecturer of Bangla department at Shahid Bulbul Government College in Pabna town, while he was leaving the campus on his motorbike.
Right before one of the youths kicked Masudur in the back, several others were seen punching him and issuing apparent threats.
Speaking with this correspondent, Masudur and sources at the college said the attackers were mostly outsiders, but they were led by Shamsuddin Junnun, president of BCL unit at Shahid Bulbul Government College.
“Before I realised anything, the attackers punched me, kicked me mercilessly. At one stage, several teachers and students saved me [from further beating]. Threatening me, the attackers said they would cut off my hands if I went to the college again,” Masudur said.
Soon after the attack, an allegation of sexual harassment against the teacher was submitted to the college authorities by a girl student of another college.
The same girl had an argument with Masudur at the college examination centre of Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) a few days back, on May 6, when he stopped her from copying answer script of another girl, said Masudur.
The aggrieved girl is most likely behind the assault, he claimed, adding that the false allegation of sexual harassment was raised only to justify the assault on him.
SM Abdul Kuddus, principal of the college, said an inquiry committee formed by the college authorities started investigating into the allegation of sexual harassment against teacher Masudur.
Admitting that the assault on the teacher took place before the sexual harassment complaint was filed by the girl, the principal, however, could not provide any reason why no committee was formed to probe into the attack on a teacher on his college campus.
Refuting the allegation of leading the attack on his teacher Masudur, the college unit BCL President Shamsuddin Junnun claimed that someone else, not BCL, attacked the teacher and that could have something to do with his alleged sexual harassment on a girl.
Rather, “I went to save the teacher,” he said, adding, “Teacher Masudur Rahman is accused of harassing an HSC examinee in his examination centre on May 6. The girl filed a complaint with the college authorities and they are investigating into the incident.”
Meanwhile, the assault on college teacher Masudur Rahman sparked an outcry in social media and among teachers across the country.
Nurjahan Akter, a history department assistant professor at Shahid Bulbul Government College, said although a college teacher was heinously assaulted on his very campus, no action was taken against the perpetrators in the last four days.
“Attack on one teacher is tantamount to attack on the entire teaching community. We want justice,” she also said.
Harunur Rashid, secretary of BCS Teachers’ Association at the same college, said they would launch nationwide agitation programme of teachers unless the perpetrators of teacher Masudur are brought to book.