HUDSON — The Muslim and Bengali communities rallied Friday around a 20-year-old college student from Hudson who suffered a brain injury she sustained mysteriously while away at college.
Fardush Sultana, a SUNY Polytechnic Institute junior majoring in civil engineering, was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica on Monday evening for an unexplained head injury while she was in her dormitory room.
With the news, a saddened Bengali community decided to postpone the Hudson Bangladesh Utsob 2019 festival.
“Due to this sorrowful incident, our Bengali community is very downhearted at this moment,” event organizer Abdus Miah said. “And also, we are very sorry that we had to postpone the event at the very last moment. We seek everyone’s earnest prayers for Fardush Sultana and her family.”
Sultana is a graduate of Hudson High School. Sultana is the daughter of Parveen Ahster and Abdul Bashar, and has two sisters, Farzana and Fariah, according to the SUNY Polytechnic’s website.
University police began an initial investigation to determine the cause of Sultana’s injuries Monday and requested assistance from the New York State Police.
The university did not release the student’s identity, but community members identified Sultana as the student.
“At this time, state police and university police have determined that the student is not a victim of a crime,” according to a joint statement from the two agencies. “While there is no indication of any criminality, the investigation is ongoing.”
While the police are still trying to piece together what happened to the college junior, the community is rallying behind her.
Friday’s prayer service at the mosque of the Hudson Islamic Center, 35 N. Third St., from noon to 2 p.m. was dedicated to Sultana and her family.
Family friend and spokesman Mohammed Rony, who has been counseling the family, was at the service, which offered a special prayer “so that Allah has mercy and forgiveness for her and her family.”
“The Muslim and Bangladeshi community have really come together to try to support the family,” Rony said. “It really hit the community hard.”
Sultana is beloved in the Bengali community, Rony said. She was a member of her high school robotics team that competed in a state championship and she loved to run cross-country.
“She is a very valued and prominent member of the community,” Rony said.
Speaking on behalf of Sultana’s family, Rony said the family is declining to comment on what happened, except to say that they thank all her sisters in the community and friends for their support.
Rony declined to give details Sultana’s condition at this time, except to say that she is still at the hospital.
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