VietNamNet Bridge – On August 24, a student at the HCM City Agriculture and Forestry University dumped five litres of acid onto Dang Huu Dung, 51, Deputy Dean of the Mechanics-Technology Faculty of the university.
Witnesses related that while Dung was giving an English lecture to several hundred students, a young man in a mask came in carrying a basin with red water and said: “This is water for washing hands”.
Then the young man, Tran Xuan Thanh from Thanh Hoa province, threw the red water into Dung’s face.
After getting splashed, Dung shouted and ran out of the room. The young man chased him with a knife and tried to stab him from behind. A few minutes later student in the class had restrained him. The police escorted the attacker to the police station.
Doctors at Cho Ray Hospital were quoted by Tuoi tre newspaper on August 25 as saying that Dung was in serious condition as he suffered deep and large burns, covering 34 percent of his body.
Thanh was a student in the mechanics-technology faculty. He entered the university in 2002 and should have graduated in 2006. However, he wasn’t able to graduate as he could not pass English, though he took the English exam four times.
Dung’s relatives said that Thanh many times called Dung and asked the teacher to let him pass the English exam, but Dung refused.
According to Huynh Thanh Hung, Deputy President of the HCM City Agriculture and Forestry University, Thanh once ‘owed’ many other subjects, but he finally passed other exams, except English.
One month ago, Thanh went to Tan Thanh Market and purchased five litres of acid which he kept in his rented room.
13 students seated nearby Dung were also hospitalised for acid burns.
Among the wounded was Vu Van Tuyen, 23, who was taken to Cho Ray Hospital for treatment for heavy burns. Six students left the hospital the same day, while the other six are still at Thu Duc Hospital.
Regarding the wounds of Tuyen, doctors say that injuries caused by the acid account for 3-5 percent of the body area.
The behaviour of Thanh has caused a wave of indignation among students and educators.
Many of Dung’s students have said that Dung was always serious, enthusiastic.
Meanwhile, Tuyen, the wounded student, said that though Dung was a Deputy Dean and the post made him always busy, he still remembered the face of every student. “Only teachers who really love their students very much can remember students’ faces,” he said.
The bitterness being expressed on many education forums is that this crime took place at a university and in Vietnam, a country which boasts a traditional fondness for learning and respect for teachers.
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