Suspect held over attack on Prof Zafar Iqbal is a ‘madrasa student’

The suspect who is detained for stabbing and injuring Prof Muhammed Zafar Iqbal in Sylhet has been identified as Faizur Rahman alias Faizul, a resident of an area adjacent to Shahjalal University of Science and Technology or SUST.

Sylhet Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 3 March 2018, 07:00 PM
Updated : 5 March 2018, 04:52 PM

Locals of Sheikhparha neighbourhood said Faizur identified himself as a madrasa student, but police could not confirm the information. 

Several residents of the area told bdnews24.com Faizur’s father Maulana Atiqur Rahman, who hails from Sunamganj’s Derai, is a teacher of a madrasa at Tukerbazar near Sylhet-Sunamganj Highway.     

Sylhet Metropolitan Police Commissioner Golam Kibria told bdnews24.com Faizur lived with his family in Sheikhparha.

He worked at a computer shop, the police officer said.

 A top official of the Rapid Action Battalion or RAB in Dhaka said police and members of the elite force went to Faizur’s house around 9pm, but found it locked. 

RAB-9 Commander Lt Col Ali Haider Azad Ahmed in Sylhet briefed the media after midnight.

He said Faizur told them he was a student of Alia Madrasa in Sylhet, but the law enforcers could not confirm the information.

Faizur also told the law enforcers that he carried out the attack on the professor ‘to kill him because he was an enemy of Islam’, according to the RAB official.

Jalalabad police Station OC Shafiqul Islam said they arrested Faizur’s maternal uncle Fazlur Rahman in a drive on Sheikhparha area late in the night.

The students and the policemen guarding the professor held Faizur immediately after he launched the assault on Iqbal.

The students also beat Faizur up before handing him over to police.

Photos from SUST showed the young, bearded suspect lying on the floor with blood on his face. 

Witnesses said an accomplice of the suspect was waiting on a motorcycle outside the venue of the programme. He fled immediately after the attack, they said.

“A boy came from behind the stage and stabbed his neck, chest and mouth. Police and students immediately detained him,” Proctor Zahir Uddin Ahmed told bdnews24.com.

The motive for the attack was not clear yet.

Iqbal had recently criticised the practice of ragging on campus. He had recently said that five students punished for ragging had gotten off easy and should have been handed over to police. It was not immediately clear whether the attack was related to his criticism of ragging.

Some students believe militants may have been responsible for the attack as the writer is a critic of militancy and communalism.

Police have been escorting Prof Iqbal for security reasons since October 2016 after militants threatened to kill him.

There were six to seven policemen guarding him during the attack, witnesses told bdnews24.com.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher