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Tuesday February 27, 2024

Student kills professor over ‘gender mix’ reception

By Our Correspondent
March 21, 2019

BAHAWALPUR: A student murdered a senior professor of the English Department of the Government Sadiq Egerton Postgraduate College, Bahawalpur, over alleged anti-Islam views on Wednesday.

Khateeb Hussain stabbed Prof Khalid Hameed to death in his office and, later, told The News: "The professor was promoting anti-Islam activities in the department ahead of a funfair programme scheduled for March 21.”

The son of the professor told reporters that the provincial government was not taking action against elements behind the murder of his father. He urged the Punjab chief minister to expose the extremist forces involved in the killing.

"The professor had organised a gender mix reception for the new students and the event was supposed to take place on Thursday," a police official said. According to a report registered with the police, the student had shouted that he killed the professor because he was "spreading obscenity". "The gender mix reception is against the teachings of Islam and I had warned him to stop it," he was quoted as saying in the report filed with the police.

The professor´s son Waleed Khan, who was with him at the time of the incident, said the student was waiting for his father. "As my father was about to step into his office, the guy attacked him with a knife, hitting him at his head and stomach," he told AFP. "My father then fell down and I rushed to him, the student held his knife and started shouting ´I have killed him, I had told him that a gender mix reception is against Islam´," he said. "We took him to hospital but he had already died," he said, adding that the student dropped his knife and the guards arrested him.

According to initial information noted by the police at the scene of the crime, Khateeb, a 5th-semester BS student enrolled in the English Department, had exchanged hot words with Prof Hameed at around 8:40am over the arranging of the 'welcome party' at the college.

The police have arrested Khateeb along with the murder weapon and registered an FIR under Section 302 (intentional murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act on a complaint of the deceased teacher's son.

A video confession of the suspect, aged around 20, shows the suspect identifying himself as Khateeb Hussain and saying that he attacked the English professor because he allegedly "spoke against Islam". In response to a question, he says he assaulted the teacher with a knife in the office where he was sitting. Both of the suspect's hands are bandaged, indicating that he received knife injuries during the scuffle. When informed that the professor has died at the hospital, the suspect expresses satisfaction with his actions.

He is then questioned on why he did not use a lawful way of voicing his complaints against the academic, to which he responds that the country's laws are "freeing the blasphemers". When asked if he regrets his action, he expresses no remorse.

In a press release, the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association condemned Hameed's murder. It demanded that the district administration bring the perpetrators of the crime to book under anti-terrorism laws within 10 days. It also asked the district and college administrations to take steps to ensure the safety of teachers.