PESHAWAR: Dr Rahim Bangash, professor of anatomy in the Khyber Medical College (KMC), finally broke his silence and categorically denied what he termed ‘baseless allegations’ of thrashing a female student of the college and said some people had launched a campaign to tarnish his image. “I remained silent as I didn’t consider it an issue because to me all my students are equal to my children. But now when some negative-minded people launched a spiteful propaganda against me, I decided on the advice of my doctor colleagues to clarify my position,” Prof Dr Rahim Bangash said in a statement issued to the media on Sunday.
He said that he has been in teaching profession for the last 28 years and had taught a large number of students, including those coming in proper veil and Hijab or purdah. “As it is the personal affair of the students, I never interfered or tried to influence anyone. I preferred to teach rather than practice as a surgeon to benefit the medical students,” he said. He recalled that on the day of the incident, which some people made an issue for their vested interests, the discussion on the issue started only as an academic point and medical ethics.
“I only wanted to say that medical profession demands a lot of physical involvement of doctors with the patients. I told them that those observing purdah find it hard to deal with male patients in our society. Unfortunately, the reaction of one foreign student of Pakistani-origin, who is a Canadian national, and unaware of the local traditions of Pakhtun culture regarding the student-teacher relationship, got involved in a very unruly discussion. She snatched the microphone from my hand and started addressing the class and exaggerated the issue. To conclude the discussion I asked her to return the microphone whereas she was reluctant,” Dr Rahim Bangash explained.
He regretted that in that process the female student staggered and lost her balance.“I never slapped or even tried to remove her veil, for which I have been blamed but rather asked her to leave the class,” he claimed. Dr Bangash said he had already clarified his position to the inquiry committee constituted for this purpose.
“In spite of my clarification to the committee, a certain group continues to malign and insult me through different means of propaganda. Through this statement, I want to communicate to the media and request it to find out the reality that I never got involved in discussion of veil before during my 28 years of teaching career. By the grace of Allah, I am a sincere Muslim and cannot even think of using insulting or derogatory remarks against my own religion Islam. I advise the students not to fall prey to the political propaganda and insult the teaching community as it is bringing a bad name to the medical profession and our historic institution,” Dr Rahim Bangash stressed.
He said he considered the event that was exaggerated due to the immaturity of his dear students as an insult to the community of teachers.