KARACHI - First death anniversary of Karachi University’s martyred Prof Shakeel Auj was observed at the varsity’s Arts Auditorium Monday, but a musical show also continued side by side.

Prof Dr Shakeel Auj who was Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies, KU, author of over a dozen books and highly esteemed scholar, became a prey to obscurantist banned arm-force and was martyred cold-bloodedly in broad daylight on September 18 last year. He was on his way to Khana-e-Farhang at the Iranian Cultural Centre where he was to be rewarded with a Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for his remarkable work in Islamic studies.

The KU administration recalled his memories in the form of death anniversary, at Arts Auditorium. Many notable dignitaries, who were personally in-touch with the martyred comprising Dean Faculty of Social Sciences Dr. Moonis Ahmar, Dr. Jamil Kazmi, Dr. Tahir Masood, Dr. Abid Azhar, Dr. Abid Hasnain, M Jibran Nasir, Dr. Akhtar Saeed Siddiqui, Prof. Naveen Haider; senior journalist Wusatullah Khan and many other respective personalities, attended the ceremony and shared some of their reminiscences spent with Auj. The event was mainly organised by his sons Dr. Hassan Auj and Yamman Auj.

Prof. Dr. Tahir Masood, who was the closest friend of Auj and was also along with him in his car at the time of incident, compiled his friendship with Dr. Shakeel in black and white stating, “He loved knowledge and served his life propagating the message of peace and knowledge. His research work was concrete and never quoted or gave opinion about anything without research.”

“Perhaps, he was a meritorious professor and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz awarded to him was proof of his excellence,” he added.

Federal Urdu University VC Prof. Dr. Suleman D. Muhammad said that the murder of a scholar is the murder of education. The vision and ideas of Auj are still alive. He had a critical approach towards the society and societal norms. He would be remembered always.

Karachi University Teachers’ Society president Prof. Dr. Jamil Kazmi said, “One year has passed and it was indeed a painful period. The efforts laid down to carry forward the academic mission of Shakeel Auj by his sons are commendable.”

Prof. Dr. Akhtar Saeed Siddiqui– victim’s teacher and former Dean Faculty of Islamic Studies – exclaimed his sorrows for his one of the most favorite students by saying, “Shakeel was a man of potential. He had the ability to achieve his goals. Though, on some educational grounds and perceptions there was a contradiction between us, but he was always having a valid logic of his statements. His death is actually his disappearance from this mortal world, but he will always remain alive in my and every knowledge lover’s heart.”

Dr. Hassan Auj, while talking to The Nation gave unsatisfactory remarks about the varsity’s management and LEAs.

“A banned group has proudly owned my father’s assassination, but still the culprits are roaming freely. The KU management is also not taking a keen action in the case of my father’s assassination. Many times, I am threatened by unknown numbers and my car was also attacked by unknown persons, but the matter was taken so lightly.

I had demanded the deployment of security guard at my house, but this was also not followed by the varsity’s administration.” On one hand, the death anniversary was being observed in an anguished manner and on the other hand, a musical show was in full swing. None of the attendee of carnival was seemed feeling some respect of the death anniversary. However, majority of the varsity’s students–enjoying the colours of carnival, were unaware of the death anniversary being held at Arts Auditorium.

Songs with full volume were being played on heavy-duty speakers, while many people were dancing. The audio of music was easily hearable in administration offices, but no staff bothered to restrain the enthusiastic activities for some time.

Talking to The Nation, the Karachi University spokesperson said, “This all is happening without our permissions.”

Varsity’s Registrar Dr. Mozzam Ali Khan freed himself by saying the students do not follow their directives and belong to various political wings.