A student at Government Sadiq Egerton College in Bahawalpur killed Professor Khalid Hameed of the English department over latter’s alleged ‘anti-Islam’ comments.
Principal Wali Muhammad told Reuters that Khateeb Hussain, a 5th-semester BS student enrolled in the English department, attacked the professor with a dagger. Other students jumped in to stop the attacker but they could not save the professor, who later succumbed to his injuries at Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital. Professor Hameed was set to retire in four months. The police arrested the student and charged him with murder.
According to media reports, the student had a hot exchange of words with the professor over a planned mixed gathering of male and female students after which the student killed the professor in his office. In a video confession, the student said that he had no remorse over his actions as the professor had uttered “anti-Islam comments”. Upon being asked why he did not choose a legal course against the professor, he said that the “country’s laws pave way for freedom of blasphemers”.
According to the police, the student did not have links with any religious group and had cited the professor’s role in planning the event as the motive for the crime. Police also said that they were investigating the student’s past and the reasons behind his mindset.
Egerton College is one of few institutions in Pakistan with a majority female student population, with 4,000 women attending alongside 2,000 male students. Religion and gender are sensitive topics in Pakistan, where women’s rights are often described as un-Islamic by right-wing religious groups. At least 65 people have been murdered by vigilantes over blasphemy allegations since 1990.
In a press release, the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association strongly condemned Professor 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 the teachers.
Khlid Hameed an associate Professor of S.E college Bahawalpur is brutally killed by his Student on the name of Islam.!
The impatience in youth is on other level. Who's responsible? Who's cultivating their minds to extremism? pic.twitter.com/s2vHOvYu97
— Aroosa Farooki (@aroosa_farooki) March 20, 2019
Welcome party is Haraam and Prohibited in #Islam But Killing your own Teacher for Having a different Point of view is absolutely Halaal.
Student killed his professor for announcing Welcome party in S.E Collage Bahawalpur.#AlBakistan pic.twitter.com/2MnN91yqD8
— Syed Ahsan Abbas Rizvi (@AhsanAbbasShah) March 20, 2019