Chemistry teacher defies Taliban in Bacha Khan University attack

Published: January 20, 2016


CHARSADDA: A chemistry teacher who tried to protect his students by opening fire on Taliban militants during a deadly attack at the Bacha Khan University has been hailed as a “martyr” and a “gentleman”.

Lecturer Syed Hamid Husain, an assistant professor of chemistry at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, ordered his students to stay inside as Taliban gunmen stormed the school on Wednesday, leaving at least 21 people dead.

Students told of how he opened fire on gunmen as they rampaged across campus, giving the young people time to flee before he was cut down in a hail of bullets.

21 killed, over 30 injured as gunmen attack Bacha Khan University in Charsadda

“We saw three terrorists shouting, ‘Allah is great!’ and rushing towards the stairs of our department,” one man told reporters.

“One student jumped out of the classroom through the window. We never saw him get up.”

He described seeing Husain holding a pistol and firing at the attackers. “Then we saw him fall down and as the terrorists entered the (registrar) office we ran away.”

Geology student Zahoor Ahmed said Husain had warned him not to leave the building after the first shots were fired. “He was holding a pistol in his hand,” he said.

“Then I saw a bullet hit him. I saw two militants were firing. I ran inside and then managed to flee by jumping over the back wall.”

TTP, Mullah Fazlullah not behind Bacha Khan University attack: Khorasani

“They fired directly at” the professor, sociology student Muhammad Daud told AFP, describing Husain as “a real gentleman and a respectable teacher”.

Tributes were paid to the slain academic on Twitter.

“Martyr of #education: Prof Hamid who was killed by terrorists in #BachaKhanUniversity#Pakistan,” tweeted journalist and academic Raza Ahmad Rumi.

Another message on the site read: “Very #sad news Prof Dr Syed Hamid from Chemistry dept embraced shahadat (martyrdom) in an attack in #BachaKhanUniversity#Charsadda.”

President Mamnoon Hussain confirmed the lecturer had died, and expressed his grief and condolences to the man’s family.

Security officials said an operation to halt the bloodshed at the school ended several hours after it began, with police saying at least 21 people had been killed.

The military said it had killed four extremists. It was not clear if they were included in the death toll. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Timeline of deadliest insurgent attacks in Pakistan

Teachers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were given permission to carry firearms in the classroom after Taliban militants massacred more than 150 people, the majority of them children, at a school in the city of Peshawar in 2014.

The attack on an army-run school in the city, some 50 kilometres from Charsadda, was the deadliest in Pakistani history, and saw heavily armed militants go from room to room slaughtering students and staff. Teachers’ associations had objected to arming staff, saying it was not their job to fight off militants.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Shakeel
    Jan 20, 2016 - 4:26PM

    Another hero in Pakistan. A true shaheed. May Allah accept him into Jannah.Recommend

  • k k khan
    Jan 20, 2016 - 5:55PM

    Whole nation is indebted to you…Recommend

  • FP
    Jan 20, 2016 - 6:06PM

    Indeed he is the real shaheed and real hero who gave his life for the sake of saving young students.Recommend

  • maz3tt
    Jan 20, 2016 - 6:08PM

    “We saw three terrorists shouting, ‘Allah is great!’ and rushing towards the stairs of our department,” one man told reporters.

    Doing this in the name of Islam and Allah. no way they are Muslims,Recommend

  • PrakashG
    Jan 20, 2016 - 6:15PM

    A few more like him and these cowards will never come out of their rat-holes.Recommend

  • Zia
    Jan 20, 2016 - 6:56PM

    Salute to the young blood. May his soul rest in peace.Recommend

  • Shakil Ahmed Khan
    Jan 20, 2016 - 8:00PM

    Uneducated lot killed a teacher who had and would have educated many!

    Because we have eminent threat from terrorists, Pakistan education institutions should hold drills and SOPs in case of a terrorist attack, it will save some lives.Recommend

  • UFO
    Jan 20, 2016 - 8:08PM

    A dedicated Ph.D. professor shooting to save lives! It was not his job. Where were the security guards? Where was intelligence? Arming teachers will do no good. Wrong policy! Let us see now how our government honor his death.Recommend

  • Shujaat
    Jan 20, 2016 - 9:26PM

    I have no words to express this great loss. He is the real hero who laid his life for the better future of Pakistan.Recommend

  • vgp
    Jan 20, 2016 - 9:46PM

    A country which permits teachers of schools to carry live fire arms, should know where it stands in the comity of nationsRecommend

  • Jan 20, 2016 - 11:30PM

    Nation is in debt to such heroes ! Ina lilahe wa ina ilahe rajeoon !Recommend

  • A
    Jan 21, 2016 - 12:41AM

    every man for himself…everyone should now carry a firearm…there is no fool proof security against these threatsRecommend

  • Mahmood
    Jan 21, 2016 - 12:47AM

    Prof Hamid Hussain gave his life to save lives of many others! A true martyr and a hero….May his soul rest in eternal peace. Recommend

  • Jan 21, 2016 - 12:59AM

    Why did he come to college with gun…? Was he already aware of the attack?Recommend

  • Naeem khan
    Jan 21, 2016 - 2:49AM

    RIP Dr.Syed Hamid. My condolences to the bereaved family. I am sorry for your loss,it is also a loss to the community and the country. Recommend

  • Sultanzadeh Mazhar Abbas Jafery
    Jan 21, 2016 - 3:28AM

    I salute you SYED BAADSHA
    I salute you NÉKDIL HAAMID and
    I salute you HUSSAIN SHAHEED
    need not saying you’ll live for ever,
    your name says that itself!Recommend

  • Ali
    Jan 21, 2016 - 5:16AM

    Indeed, it was for safety and it saved many of students lived. Even one should be professionally trained to defend himself or fight for their country. Recommend

  • Analyst
    Jan 21, 2016 - 6:49AM

    Teachers should have a bigger weapon in their hands, merely pistol is not enough. They should be armed with proper guns to defend the students and themselves against the evil terrorists. Recommend

  • Hussain
    Jan 21, 2016 - 9:29AM

    @DesiGoogly: Shame on you and your cheap comments.
    Shame on you and mindsets like you. The shaheed professor gave his life and saved his students. Had it not been for him we might have seen more casualties. Recommend

  • Sadia
    Jan 21, 2016 - 12:04PM

    its the third similar attack.. how many times we will be seeing this news? we would do nothing at all but keep on sharing it on our FB page and keep them liking.
    Why don’t we stand and fight against them. Please raise as a nation and fight back against terrorism. Recommend

  • nasser
    Jan 21, 2016 - 12:44PM

    Bro..there are circumstances to justify it. What would you say about US who allows teachers and students to possess guns for self defence. Where do you think US is standing among the community of nations? Recommend

  • nasser
    Jan 21, 2016 - 12:47PM

    You are a true DESI.. very innocent lacing the sense to understand the language.
    Bro..there are circumstances to justify it. What would you say about US who allows teachers and students to possess guns for self defence. Where do you think US is standing among the community of nations?Recommend

  • ahmed41
    Jan 21, 2016 - 3:37PM

    ‘ …. everyone should now carry a firearm…there is no fool proof security against these threats…”

    An impractical suggestion !!

    EVERY ONE ????????Recommend

  • ahmed41
    Jan 21, 2016 - 3:39PM


    In Pakistan , KP region , teachers need guns. Recommend

  • shahroze
    Jan 21, 2016 - 8:21PM

    I suggest we pay no heed to all the trolls. They are as clueless as our government and forces are, yes that’s the bitter truth and it’s time we swallow it.
    The professor is a Shaheed a true hero. Self defense is the right of every citizen.
    We should come out of the foolish state that the attackers are cowards, No they are not they just proved that point by attacking again.
    We are a failed state and cannot cover the security lapses. We should accept the fact and move on open licenses and made a real clean PROCEDURE for the issuing of arms license.
    otherwise people will find ways to keep illegal arms.
    “the difference between a free man and a slave is the right to bear arms”Recommend

  • Dan O'Leary
    Jan 22, 2016 - 4:14AM

    A good man. And a tragic loss. I hope this story gets reported in the news here (USA). Recommend

  • Dr. Amad
    Jan 22, 2016 - 10:13AM

    Real hero of Pakistan. Peace curriculum which is written by Dr. Tahir Ul Qadri must be teaching at universities and collegesRecommend

  • dr khan FRCS
    Jan 22, 2016 - 4:09PM

    May ALLAH GIVE HIM A PLACE IN JANNAT UL FIRDUS…AMEEN. …..HE is great hero by saving young students…teachers,doctors and other professionals in schools,colleges And universities need advance equipments like repeater,AK 47 or machine guns to kills terrorists.pistol is not enough to kill terrorists…also in each class room in school,colleges,,universities at least one students should be arm with machine gun…to kill terrorists…CCTV CAMERA SHOULD BE INSTALL for evidence and monitoring. ..also well trained young police men and guards should be employed with machine guns… We have to logo self defence system…Recommend

  • American Singh
    Jan 22, 2016 - 11:48PM

    May God bless the brave soul!Recommend

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