‘I have a body, but no life in it’

Battered and publicly shamed, the suspended headmaster of a Narayanganj school has said there is no life left in his body any more.

“Shyamal sir is no more. He is dead, he has passed away. He has a body without any life,” Shyamal Kanti Bhakta described his own condition after being subjected to public shaming and being suspended from the Piyar Sattar Latif High School.

Shyamal said nothing could be more humiliating for a teacher than being beaten up by his own students.

“Many of my students were part of the mob that beat me... I have no right to live on,” he told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday at Narayanganj’s 300-bed hospital where he is undergoing treatment.

On Friday, the teacher was beaten up for allegedly making derogatory comments about religion and was later forced to do squats while holding his ears in presence of local lawmaker AKM Salim Osman. Consequently, he was also suspended from the school.

The incident triggered massive outrage across Bangladesh.

Yesterday, Shyamal reiterated that he had been framed in a conspiracy, adding that there would be no more respect for educators in the future if more teachers were victimised like this.

“I will now be cited as an example. I have lost respect [from others]. Many who attacked me were my direct students. I am such a wretched person who was humiliated by his own students. I have no honour left,” the teacher said.

Meanwhile, Shyamal’s wife Sabita Haldar, who is a senior nurse at the 300-bed hospital, also expressed her anger about the way her husband was treated.

She demanded punishment for those responsible as well as urging authorities to ensure the best medical care for her husband.

The hospital’s surgery chief Dr Shafiul Azam said the physical condition of the teacher has improved. The best course of treatment would be decided by a medical board, he said.

Shyamal said his body was still suffering from the injuries sustained during the beating. The pain on his shoulder was not going away, he added.

Two police constables have been posted outside Shyamal’s cabin to ensure his security. One of the constables said leaders from political parties and their student wings, as well as social and cultural organisations have been coming to the hospital to meet the injured teacher.