Abontika’s suicide: Protests rage as asst proctor, classmate held


In connection with the suicide of law student Fairuz Sadaf Abontika, authorities arrested a student from Jagannath University and an assistant proctor. Abontika was found dead in her Cumilla residence on Friday evening. Raihan Siddique Amman, Abontika’s classmate, and Assistant Proctor Din Islam were apprehended in the capital city by a team from Kotwali Police Station, as confirmed by Badrul Hasan, additional deputy commissioner (Kotwali zone). The arrests followed Abontika’s mother filing a case at Kotwali Model Police Station in Cumilla.

Prior to her death, Abontika had posted on Facebook, accusing Amman of sexual harassment and alleging that Din Islam had verbally abused her and sided with Amman when she complained. Habibur Rahman, DMP Commissioner, stated that they were assisting Cumilla police to prevent the accused from fleeing or hiding.

Din Islam was suspended by the university amidst student protests, while Amman was suspended earlier and a five-member probe committee was formed by JnU authorities. Hundreds of students protested on campus and in Cumilla town demanding justice. They issued six demands, including a fair trial, immediate arrest and punishment of the accused, and the strengthening of anti-harassment measures.

A separate protest took place at Cumilla’s Kandirpar’s Pubali Chattar, with locals and Abontika’s classmates expressing that she took her life due to harassment and lack of university support.

Abontika’s mother, Tahmina Begum, expressed her daughter’s brilliance and academic achievements but lamented the lack of justice regarding her harassment complaints.

Din Islam denied the allegations, stating they were baseless and expressing willingness to accept any investigation findings. Amman claimed innocence in a Facebook post, stating he hadn’t interacted with Abontika since she blocked him on social media.

Abontika had filed a written complaint in November 2023 with the proctor’s office regarding Amman’s harassment. Din Islam stated he hadn’t spoken to Abontika or her parents for two years and wasn’t aware of any complaints. He emphasized the need for a thorough investigation and readiness to accept guilt if found responsible.

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