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Hundreds of students rally after classmate commits suicide

21 Nov 2017 - 16:06
21 Nov 2017 - 16:06

KABUL (Pajhwok): Hundreds of Kabul University students staged protest rallies in central Kabul and Bamyan provinces on Tuesday, days after a veterinary student committed suicide after her thesis were rejected for eighth time.

Zahra Khwarai ate a poisonous substance after she submitted her monograph last Sunday, said the protesting students, numbering nearly 1,000, who had gathered in front of the Veterinary Faculty of the Kabul University.

The protestors students asked the government to investigate Khawari’s case. Classmates and roommates of Khawari alleged she committed suicide after her thesis supervisor several times rejected her monograph. “And the last time, when her monograph was rejected by ‘Professor Gul Mohammad Tanin’ she committed suicide by eating raticide.”

They said Tanin was a strict teacher whose harshness last year led a girl to jump off a high building. The protestors further said the dormitory’s warden didn’t allow Khawari to be taken out of the hostel and taken to hospital for 24 hours after she had eaten the poison. “She died the on way to hospital for being late.”

Shirin Hazara, a fourth-year student at Economic Faculty of Kabul University, said Khawari was not incompetent to the level that her monograph be rejected eight times by her supervisor.

 “After Khawari ate the poison, she was alive for seven hours, but the dormitory in-charge didn’t allow us to take her out, saying she lacked dormitory card.”

Fatima Behzad, a cousin of Khawari, confirmed frequent rejection of monograph by her teacher drove her to take the extreme step.

Rona Tarin, a legislator at the Meshrano Jirga during Tuesday’s session said: “A student commits suicide because of teachers. This serious case should be investigated.”

Abdul Latif Roshan, acting minister for Higher Education, who met the protesting students, said: “Gul Mohammad Tanin and the dormitory in-charge have been taken into police custody.” He assured the protestors anyone found guilty in the case would be punished.

The minister signed the resolution letter of the students. The letter had asked for suspension of the Veterinary Faculty head, Tanin, and dormitory in-charge.

The letter also said a minaret must be established and named after Zahra Khawari to signify students’ oppression by a dictatorial system of education.”

In central Bamyan province, a number of university students staged a protest, calling for investigation into Khawari death.

By issuing a statement, they asked the government, the National Assembly, the EU and the international community to deal legally with people involved in the incident. They warned of continuing their protest in case the perpetrators weren’t dragged to justice.

Wasiq, a Bamyan university student, called the incident a catastrophe, saying: “Students are obliged to commit suicide under unwanted pressures and even illegitimate demands by some teachers.”


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