Bangladesh student stabbed 'for rejecting suitor'

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Dozens of male and female students protest at the attackImage source, Faizullah Wasif
Image caption,
Students took to the streets on Tuesday demanding the attacker be punished

A female student in Bangladesh is in a critical condition after being stabbed by a student leader - who allegedly became violent after she rejected him.

Khadiza Begum was attacked with a machete at a college campus in Sylhet district in the north on Monday.

Hundreds of students held a protest on Tuesday, demanding better security at universities and colleges.

It is the fourth case of a woman being attacked after reportedly refusing a male suitor in recent months.

Ms Begum was attacked at Murari Chand University College as she left an exam hall.

'Violent hacking'

Her uncle Jahid Ahmed told the BBC that the alleged attacker, Badrul Alam, had been pursuing Ms Begum and became violent after she rejected him.

Several students witnessed the attack, with some filming the incident on their mobile phones, but no one intervened to stop the attack.

Image source, Faizullah Wasif
Image caption,
Protesters formed a human chain on the street, demanding better security on campuses
Image source, Faizullah Wasif
Image caption,
The attack has shocked many in Bangladesh

An eyewitness, Abdul Kader, told the BBC: "I heard someone screaming... and saw a boy hacking at a girl indiscriminately.

"The attacker was so violent that we did not dare to rescue her."

Later, some students attempted to chase the attacker off the college grounds, and he was arrested by police as he attempted to flee the scene.

The incident has sparked an outcry, with hundreds of students rallying at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, where Mr Alam was a student leader, demanding punishment for him and tighter security at the campus.

Image source, Faizullah Wasif
Image caption,
Ms Begum was stabbed at Murari Chand University College after she finished an exam

Ms Begum has been taken to the capital, Dhaka, for hospital treatment.

Three other women have died in the last two months, after they were attacked for refusing a suitor.

Mr Alam was a senior member of a student group affiliated with the Awami League, the ruling political party. He has been suspended from the university.

Bangladesh's Home Minister, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, told reporters the attacker would be held to account whatever his political affiliation.