Teacher beaten by police dies from injuries
Teachers vow to continue with sit-inSadia Afrin
Non-government primary schoolteacher Mohammad Abdul Aziz, who was beaten up by the police at demonstrations of teachers at Shahbagh on Tuesday, died from his injuries early Wednesday.
The teachers on demonstrations on Wednesday, however, vowed to continue with their movement and rejected the government’s assurance of considering their demand for job regularisation in seven days.
Aziz, headmaster of Char Bhatiany Registered Primary School in Jamalpur, came to Dhaka on Monday to join the non-government primary school teachers’ march towards the Prime Minister’s Office to push for the regularisation of their job.
Aziz, also a freedom fighter, among others, became injured as the police charged at them with truncheons and used water cannons to stop the teachers in the Shahbagh crossing from marching towards the Prime Minister’s Office, his fellows said.
His fellows later on Tuesday evening sent Aziz to Jamalpur as he was feeling sick. Aziz died about 2:00am on his return home, his brother-in-law Mazharul Islam said.
Mazharul told New Age that the police had beaten him mercilessly that caused his death.
The body was taken to his parental home at Melandah in Jamalpur and was buried in the family graveyard. He is survived by his wife and a son.
The Jamalpur Non-Government Primary Teachers’ Association president, Rafiqul Islam, on Wednesday said that Aziz was a
freedom fighter and led an honest life. ‘We are shocked at the death of Aziz. We condemn the police for torturing him.’
Sheikh Abdus Salam Mia, secretary general of the Bangladesh Registered Non-Government Primary Schoolteachers’ Association, said that Jamalpur sadar upazila nirbahi officer had stopped his colleagues from taking the body to the Central Shaheed Minar citing the ground that as he was a freedom fighter, the body should not be taken here and there.
The Bangladesh Non-Government Primary Schoolteachers’ Unity Council on Wednesday morning announced that they would launch a ‘tougher movement’ if the government did not make allocation in the next budget for the regularisation of their job.
Mohammad Abdur Rahman Bachchu, member secretary of the Bangladesh Non-Government Primary Schoolteachers’ Association, said that primary and mass education minister, Md Afsarul Ameen, had a meeting with the teachers’ representatives at his office in the secretariat to discuss the matter.
On assurance from the government, leaders of the teachers decided to withdraw the sit-in while general teachers vowed to continue with their demonstrations until the demand was met.
After the meeting, Aminul Islam Chowdhury, president of the Bangladesh Non-Government Primary Schoolteachers’ Unity Council, said that they had decided to withdraw the sit-in programme on the minister’s assurance. But he faced resistance from teachers on demonstrations at the Central Shaheed Minar when he made the announcement of the withdrawal.
At one point, he was manhandled by a group of teachers that forced him to continue with the agitation.
The police on Tuesday charged at the teachers with truncheons and used water cannons to disperse about 2,000 schoolteachers who were marching towards the PMO to submit a memorandum to push for their one-point demand. At least 10 were injured.
At least eight of the injured were treated in Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Three of them were women.
The march started from the Shaheed Minar where the teachers have been staging their sit-in since Monday.
The police attacked the teachers after some of them tried to break through the police cordon in front of Shahbagh police station on Tuesday noon.
A number of teachers became injured when the police shot hot water from the water cannon into the protesters. Several others, including teachers and policemen, fell unconscious .
As the police carried out the attack, many of the teachers lay down on the road in front of Shahbagh police station and continued with demonstrations, witnesses said.
Police beat up and detained four of the leaders of primary schoolteachers — Abul Kalam Azad Badal of Dinajpur, Motahar Hossain of Naogaon, Mohammad Solaiman of Noakhali and Khalilur Rahman of Thakurgaon.
The police released the four in the evening and all the teachers returned to the Central Shaheed Minar to resume the sit-in. The demonstrators represent about 96,000 teachers of 24,000 primary schools across the country.
Non-government Primary Schoolteachers’ Associaiton Bangladesh (Shamsul-Mugen) Non-government Teachers’ Association (Nasir-Bachchu), Bangladesh Registered Primary Schoolteachers’ Association (Enayet-Salam) and Bangladesh Registered Primary Schoolteachers’ Association (Hafiz-Mahbub) are on demonstrations under the banner of the Bangladesh Non-Government Primary Schoolteachers’ Unity Council.
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