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Abrar Fahad murder: Family, protesters happy as Buet expels 25 accused

  • Published at 01:14 am November 22nd, 2019
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File photo of an academic building of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) Collected

When contacted, Abrar’s family also said they were happy with the decision

Students demonstrating in protest of Buet student Abrar Fahad’s murder are happy as the university has expelled 26 students for life, 25 of whom are accused of being involved in the gruesome murder. 

A statement signed by Buet Directorate of Student’s Welfare (DSW) Director Prof Dr Md Mizanur Rahman, issued on late Thursday night, announced the expulsion order, effective immediately.

When contacted, Abrar’s family also said they were happy with the decision. 

Six other students have also been punished on different terms for breaching the university’s disciplinary code, but the statement did not go into details.

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune yesterday evening, Abrar’s father Barkat Ullah said: “The Buet authorities have expelled the 26 students as they have found them guilty. We are satisfied with their decision.

“The expulsion of Abrar’s murderers was demanded by his fellow students who have been staging protest for over a month, seeking justice for my son. The rest now depends on the court,” he added. 

As an immediate reaction to the expulsion order, one of the protesters, fourth-year student Antara Madhuri Tithi said: “We are happy that the Buet authorities finally took this step.” 

She further said the protesters would formally make a statement in this regard in a few days. 

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune shortly after issuing the expulsion order, Prof Mizanur Rahman said: “We made the decision based on the report of the investigation committee the university formed after the murder [of Abrar]. It was not based on the charge sheet.”

Police on November 13 submitted the charge sheet against 25 students of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology – most of whom are leaders and activists of the university unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League – in a case filed by Abrar’s father.

Addressing a press briefing that day, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Additional Commissioner Monirul Islam said 11 of the accused were directly involved in beating up Abrar, in several phases, in Room 2011 of Buet’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall, between 10pm on October 6 and 2:30am October 7, which led to his death. 

The other 14 were indirectly involved in the incident, either by aiding, abetting or planning Abrar’s torture, and one of them was present at the place of occurrence, he added.

According to Buet’s statement, the 26 expelled students are: Mehedi Hasan Robein, Md Anick Sarker, Ifti Mosharraf Shakal, Md Moniruzzaman Monir, Meftahul Islam Zion, Md Muzahidur Rahman, Mehedi Hasan Rasel, Ehteshamul Rabbi Tanim, Khandaker Tabakhkharul Islam Tanvir, Muntasir Alam Jemy, ASM Nazmus Sadat, Md Shamim Billah, Morshed Amartya Islam, Hossain Mohammad Toha, Mujtaba Rafid, Md Mizanur Rahman, Md Ashikul Islam Bitu, SM Mahmud Setu, Ishtiaq Ahmed Munna, Amit Saha, Md Mazedur Rahman, Shamsul Arefin Rafat, Moaz Abu Huraira, Md Akash Hossain, Md Morsheduzzaman Mandal Zisan, and Muhtasim Fuad.

Of them, only Bitu was not named in police charge sheet.

File photo of Abrar Fahad, who was murdered by Chhatra League leaders and activists inside a Buet dormitory last month | Collected

The six other students who were punished on different terms are: Abu Nawshad Sakib, Md Saiful islam, Md Galib, Md Shaon Mia, Sakhawat Iqbal Ovi, and Md Ismail.

The university’s Board of Residence and Discipline took the actions based on the findings of Buet’s probe committee, the DSW director said in the statement.

He told Dhaka Tribune: “We received the probe report on the night of November 16. Afterwards, the disciplinary board met on November 17, 20 and 21 to evaluate the findings.

“We decided to expel these students at the last meeting held between 5:30pm and 10:30pm on Thursday,” said Mizanur, also the member secretary of the board.

On Monday, Buet authorities sought three weeks from the protesting students to meet their three demands, which included the expulsion of those accused of killing Abrar.

The students’ other two demands are: punishment of students involved in ragging; and the categorization and inclusion of student politics and ragging-related issues in the Buet Ordinance through approval of the academic council and syndicate.

Since Abrar’s death, Buet students have been staging protest on the campus and are boycotting classes and examinations until all their demands are met. 

The university authorities postponed the term final examinations for all academic sessions that were scheduled to begin on October 20.

Case details

EEE student Abrar, 22, was found dead on a staircase of Sher-e-Bangla Hall in the early hours of October 7, after he was taken to the dormitory’s Room No 2011 around 8pm on October 6, and beaten mercilessly by Chhatra League men late into the night.

Abrar’s father Barkat Ullah filed the murder case at Chawkbazar Police Station against 19 people, mostly leaders and activists of Buet Chhatra League.

Amid students’ protest, the university on October 11 had banned all political activities on campus and suspended 19 students accused in the case.

Out of the 25 accused, only six — Munna, Amit, Mizanur, Shamsul, Mujtaba and Setu — were not named in the first information report (FIR) filed after Abrar’s brutal murder. Their names came to light during investigation, police said.

Of the total, four — Zisan, Tanim, Morshed, and Mujtaba — are still on the run, while the 21 others are behind bars.

Bitu is also yet to be arrested.

Eight of the accused — Robein, Anick, Ifti, Monir, Zion, Muzahidur, Nazmus, and Tanvir — have already confessed in court to their involvement in the murder, which had shocked the nation and sparked countrywide protests.

Their accounts had offered a disturbing insight into how Abrar was beaten with cricket stumps and skipping ropes for hours before his eventual death.

Police said the Chhatra League men’s suspicion that Abrar was involved with Jamaat-e-Islami's student front Islami Chhatra Shibir was “one of the reasons” they beat him.

In the face of severe backlash, Chhatra League central committee had expelled Mehedi, Fuad, Robein, Anick, Zion, Monir, Ifti, Jemy, Tanim, Muzahidur and Mujtaba from the organization.