Home / Karachi / Student who ‘self-immolated’ after being barred from exam laid to rest
Student who ‘self-immolated’ after being barred from exam laid to rest

Student who ‘self-immolated’ after being barred from exam laid to rest

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Karachi

Abdul Basit, 27, a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) final year student at the Hamdard University who had set himself on fire on Monday after missing his exam and died at the burns ward of the Civil Hospital Karachi in the wee hours of Tuesday, was buried at the PECHS graveyard.

His funeral prayers were offered at the Al-Falah Masjid.

He was admitted to the hospital with over 85.5 percent burn wounds.

He was first taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, but the doctors there had referred him to the CHK burns ward.

The doctors there say Basit might have survisved had he been brought to the hospital within half an hour of the incident.

He was admitted to the CHK at 4:38pm, and died at around 10:30pm, additional police surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed told The News.

Senior medico-legal officer Dr Nisar Shah said Basit had suffered about 86 percent burns injuries.

Basit’s family, friends and colleagues refuse to believe that he had killed himself and have demanded an investigation tin the case.

Taimuria SHO Irfan Ahmed said Basit’s family wanted to file a murder case against the management of the Hamdard University’s Hamdard College of Medicine and Dentistry.

He added that the family believed that it was not a suicide case and police needed more time to gather information and evidence before reaching a conclusion.

Fatima Shahid, Basit’s mother, told The News that her son was the youngest among his six siblings. Abdul Majid, who is older than Basit, is living with his family in Karachi. His two brothers and two sisters will soon arrive in the city from Chicago, US.

“He wanted to be a doctor. He couldn’t have killed himself. He was killed,” said Shahid Jamal Siddiqui, Basit’s father, and broke into tears.

“They [Basit’s family] had never imagined that Basit’s life would come to an
end like this”, said one of the relatives present at the funeral.

Majid too is unwilling to believe that his brother could have killed himself.

His mother said someone else set him on fire. “He was on fire for 10 minutes or more but not a single person from the university cane forward to help him. Some students used their shirts to put off the fire.

Where were the campus security guards and officials? Why they didn’t they help him?” she added.

Basit was studying at the main campus and was unable to appear for his paper on Monday on time. He had requested his faculty to let him appear for the exam but they turned him away and told him to contact the senior administration at the Nazimabad Campus, a family member said.

A dejected Basit went to the see the senior administration to inform it about the reasons for which he could not reach the examination hall on time.

However, his family claimed, Basit was not treated properly.

University’s response

The management of the Hamdard University said the exam had taken place between 11am to 1pm at the main campus while Basit had arrived at the examination room at around 1:30pm when it had finished and the external examiners had left the university along with the papers.

It added that the student went to the City Campus in Nazimabad at around 2:30pm and requested the vice principal to assist him. The vice principal had explained to him the university’s “limitations”.

The management refuted the claim that the student was not allowed to take the exam for other reasons. It added that Basit was a student there since 2007 and had taken at least two years to clear the exams of a one-year study.

Probe body formed

The Sindh governor, who is also the patron of the Hamdard University, has formed a three-member inquiry committee to probe into Basit’s case. It comprises Prof Dr SM Tariq Rafi, the vice-chancellor of the Jinnah Sindh Medical University, Karachi; Prof Dr Shaikh Nadeem Ahmed, the registrar of the Dow University of Health Science, Karachi, and Prof Dr Arshad Aazmi, the controller of examinations of  the University of Karachi.

The committee will probe into the reasons leading to Basit’s death and also look into the allegations regarding the examination system of private medical institutions and the lack of facilities. The committee will submit its report to the Governor’s House secretariat within 15 days.

Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan also spoke with the bereaved family on the phone and condoled with them.

He assured Basit’s parents that they would be provided with justice.

The governor’s adviser on higher education, Wajahat Ali, also went to the residence of the student to condole with the family.

The adviser informed the family that Basit’s death was being probed and examinations and other academic affairs of private universities were also being scrutinised.

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