Nimirta Chandani, a final-year BDS student of the Bibi Aseefa Dental College was found dead in her hostel room in September 2019 and Nosheen Kazmi, a fourth-year MBBS student of the Chandka Medical College (CMC), allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan of her hostel room in November 2021. Their family members say they were blackmailed to the extent that they ended their lives.
Journalists, writers and civil society activists along with members of the general public participated in the Sunday rally. They raised slogans against the SMBBMU vice chancellor for failing to protect students from harassment and blackmailing. They also condemned the Larkana police for not having arrested the suspects nominated in both cases.
The protesters, led by activists of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Jeay Sindh Student Federation and some civil society organisations, marched through various roads and then assembled outside the SMBBMU VC’s secretariat to hold a sit-in.
Speaking to them, Zafar Abro, Athar Soomro, Muhbbat Khuhro, Ashraf Kalhoro, Ahmar Phull and others said that it was quite unfortunate for that the main suspect was still at large even after the DNA report released by Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) lab disclosed that his DNA profile matched with the DNA profiles of both women.
They alleged that the SMBBMU administration was hiding the truth, and demanded removal of its VC. They also called for an in-depth investigation into both cases to unmask other culprits.
Separate demonstrations were held by activists of the Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JSM), Jeay Sindh Students Federation (JSSF) and Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) outside the local press club.
Speaking to them, Ashraf Kalhoro, Athar Soomro and Allah Warayo Umrani alleged that the SMBBMU administration was trying to hush up the matter only to cover up its inefficiency.
They demanded that the matter be investigated in the light of the LUMHS lab’s findings. They expressed their concern over increasing incidents of harassment of women students at various educational institutions in the province. They called for putting in place an effective security system at colleges and universities to protect women students and teachers.
VC’s ‘media trial’ condemned
President of SMBBMU Teachers’ Association Dr Fahad Jibran Siyal, in a statement, condemned what he called a “media trial” of the institution’s vice chancellor.
“LUMHS VC and administration leaked the DNA report of Nosheen Kazmi which has cast a negative impact on the institution’s [LUMHS’] reputation,” he alleged, and demanded that the LUMHS VC and members of the its forensic department be included in the ongoing judicial inquiry into the Kazmi case so that justice could be done to her heirs and culprits be handed exemplary punishment.
The VIth additional session judge of Larkana, who is holding the judicial inquiry, has issued notices to the SMBBMU hostel provost and CMC principal asking them to appear before him on Feb 16 along with the relevant record.