According to locals, Bidhan Chandra Sarker, an assistant teacher of Maishani Girls’ High School, was assaulted by local resident Noyon Gazi.
The incident took place in Samudoykathi union in the upazila, locals said.
Bidhan was appointed at the school in last November, said Upazila Teachers’ Association President Swapan Kumar Dutta.
“Noyon accused Bidhan of having an unethical relationship with a female student at the school. On Friday, Bidhan was accosted by Noyon and some more locals in front of a tea stall. They stripped him of his clothes and beat him up in public."
“They confined Bidhan to Hair Mandir (temple) and tortured him all night long. He was released the following day,” Swapan added.
Assisted by colleagues, the teacher, who collapsed psychologically following the incident, went to Barisal town for treatment.
Noyon has established a reign of terror in the area and many people of ethnic minorities have been harassed by him, said locals, adding that he is used to swooping on strangers to extort money from them.
Saying that Bidhan got the job on his merits, Swapan claimed: “The criminals tortured him as he did not give them extortion money for his recruitment at the school.
“I have complained to Swarupkathi police and am trying to inform the Swarupkathi municipality mayor about the matter.”
The teachers’ leader also said he would raise the issue at the association’s meeting on Tuesday.
The school’s Acting Headmaster Moulvi Khalilur Rahman said: “The conditions of the area where we are serving is awfully unfavourable. I can say nothing beyond this.”
When contacted over the phone, Noyon confessed to beating Bidhan, but denied that he confined and tortured him.
Acting OC of Swarupkathi police station Munirul Islam said they were taking action against the attackers.
“Noyon is accused in seven to eight cases including robbery. I was once wounded during a drive to arrest him,” said SI Bikash Chandra.