Teacher ‘thrashes’ girl after argument on veil

Published December 18, 2013
Misbah Syed addresses media persons in Peshawar. — Photo by INP
Misbah Syed addresses media persons in Peshawar. — Photo by INP

PESHAWAR: A girl student of Khyber Medical College, Peshawar on Tuesday accused a male teacher of roughing her up after a heated argument over veiling herself in classroom.

Misbah Syed, a first-year student of MBBS, told reporters here that she had been covering face with a veil since she got admission to the college.

She said female classmates recently elected her as representative and soon after election, Professor Rahim Bangash asked her not to veil herself in the classroom from the next morning.

The student alleged the teacher also criticised women covering face with a veil saying he would not even allow his wife and daughter veil themselves.

“He (teacher) also made derogatory remarks about the veil to my embarrassment in front of colleagues. I strongly reacted to the remarks and told him that it’s a student’s right whether or not to veil herself and that no one can force her into doing so. After that, he slapped and kicked me,” she said.

Ms Misbah also accused the teacher of harassing her.

She alleged that students veiling themselves and sporting beard were discriminated against by some teachers during oral examination.

The student, a Canadian national of Pakistani origin, said she had visited more than a dozen countries, including the US and the UK, but no one there had objected to her veiling herself.

“I got admission to Khyber Medical College only because my parents wanted me to be familiar with Pakhtun culture after spending years abroad,” she said.

Ms Misbah demanded strict action against Professor Rahim and others discouraging students to veil themselves on campus. “The action against the teacher, whose conduct is highly unbecoming, will help students get education in a harassment-free environment,” she said.

The student said she would continue struggle for justice.

On Friday, the KMC students blocked the busy University Road for around an hour to protest the roughing up of their colleagues.

After learning about the protest, provincial Information Minister Shah Farman turned up and pacified students by promising punitive action against the teacher in question.

The protesters later dispersed peacefully.

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