There were protests across Sylhet in several places against Badrul yesterday. On Tuesday night a protest rally was held in Khadiza’s home village as well.
People join students’ protest
Students from Sylhet Government Women’s College, where Khadiza studies, took out a procession in the city in the morning. They circled the main roads in the city shouting slogans and came back to take position in front of their college. Common people from the surrounding area also joined their protest.
The protesters shouted for capital punishment for Badrul. The traffic on Chowhatta – Zindabazar Road stopped because of the blockade.
About an hour later the students withdrew from the road after the college’s teachers spoke to them and gave them assurance.
After the protest programme the students submitted a memorandum to the Sylhet deputy commissioner in the afternoon.
Women’s College student and protest coordinator Fazilatunnesa told reporters the students were feeling insecure after the incident.
“Are we women safe in our schools and colleges? How many of us have to die before we feel safe?” she asked.
“We demand the highest punishment for the attacker Badrul,” she said.
The protesting students have called on all teachers and students in Sylhet to join a protest rally today.
Awami League, BNP united in protest
Awami League and BNP leaders in Sylhet were seen standing side by side during public protests against the attack.
In Tukerbazar Temukhi area in the Sadar upazila, the public organised a human chain for their protest. During the event, speakers called the attacker Badrul an ‘animal’ and called for his exemplary punishment to prevent further crimes of this nature.
They also prayed for Khadiza’s recovery.
Awami League’s Sylhet Metropolitan unit President Badar Uddin Kamran, district unit General Secretary Shafiqur Rahman Chowdhury and Joint Secretary Sujat Al Rafiq, district BNP General Secretary Ali Ahmed, Sadar upazila Chairman Ashfaq Ahmed, former vice chairman Abul Kashem, journalist Maksud Ahmed and many others were present at the event.
Government to bear all treatment costs
Health Minister Mohammad Nasim told reporters yesterday that the government would bear all of Khadiza’s treatment costs.
The minister, who was visiting Sylhet, spoke to reporters at the Osmani airport in the afternoon.
The prime minister had instructed him to do everything necessary to get Khadiza better, he said.
The incident was tragic, Nasim said and assured that the person involved would be punished regardless of their background.
Family and neighbours were gathered at Khadiza’s home in Hausa village, where her mother Monwara Begum collapsed frequently from shock.
Many family members were also found in tears.
Khadiza’s father Mashuk Miah is currently in Saudi Arabia. Elder brother Shahin Ahmed is studying medicine in China. The two younger brothers are also students.
Monwara told reporters she wanted exemplary punishment for her daughter’s attacker.
Khadiza, 23, an honours second-year student at Sylhet Government Women’s College, was attacked on Monday evening by Badrul Alam, fourth-year economics student at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) and a top leader of Chhatra League’s SUST wing, while she was on her way back home after taking an exam at Sylhet MC College exam centre.
Locals rescued severely wounded Khadiza and took her to Osmani Medical College Hospital, while others gave Badrul a good beating before handing him over to Shah Paran police station.
The victim has been trasnferred to Square Hospital in Dhaka where she has undergone surgery and is currently on life support. Doctors have put her in 72 hours of observation and say she has about 10% chance of survival.