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The murders that shocked the nation in 2019

  • Published at 12:25 am December 29th, 2019
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File photo: From left - Abrar Fahad, Nusrat Jahan Rafi, Taslima Begum Renu and Rifat Sharif

Of these murders, the ones that shook the nation and jolted its collective conscience were the killings of Buet student Abrar Fahad, Rifat Sharif in Barguna, Nusrat Jahan Rafi in Feni, and Taslima Begum Renu in Dhaka, who was lynched by a mob

Bangladesh saw some shocking and gruesome cases of murder in 2019, which became headlines not only in local media, but in the international media as well.

Of these murders, the ones that shook the nation and jolted its collective conscience were the killings of Buet student Abrar Fahad, Rifat Sharif in Barguna, Nusrat Jahan Rafi in Feni, and Taslima Begum Renu in Dhaka, who was lynched by a mob.

Abrar Fahad

Abrar Fahad, 21, a second-year student of electrical and electronic engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, was found dead on the staircase of his dormitoryin the early hours of October 7, hours after some leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League tortured him, suspecting his link to Islami Chhatra Shibir.

The academic activities at Buet remained closed for more than two months as the students went on a movement demanding justice for Abrar. 

On November 13, the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) pressed charges against 25 Buet students, most of whom were members of Chhatra League but were expelled, in the murder case.

On November 21, the Buet authorities expelled the 25 accused and one other for life for their involvement in the gruesome murder.

Rifat Sharif

Rifat Sharif, 22, was brutally hacked with sharp weapons near the main gate of Barguna Government College in broad daylight, in front of his wifeAyesha Siddiqua Minni, on June 26. He succumbed to his injuries at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College in Barisal.

A video footage of the attack went viral on Facebook.

Rifat’s father filed a murder case against 24 people. Rifat’s wife Minni, who was initially named as a witness in the case, was later arrested and made an accused for her reported involvement in the murder. Minni was seen in the footage trying to save Rifat from the attackers, and later took him to hospital. 

The High Court on August 19 granted Minni bail on conditions that she would remain in her father’s custody and would not talk to media.

The prime accused in the murder, Sabbir Ahmed alias Nayan Bond, was killed in a reported gunfight with law enforcement officials on July 2.

Police on September 1 pressed charges against 24 people, including Minni, in the murder case.

Nusrat Jahan Rafi

Nusrat was set on fire on April 6 on the rooftop of her madrasa, Sonagazi Islamia Fazil Madrasa, allegedly by people loyal to its principal SM Sirajuddoula, whom she had accused of sexually harassing her.

She succumbed to her injuries four days later at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

A case was filed with Sonagazi police station on April 8. Police pressed charges before the court against 16 people on May 29.

On October 24, 16 people, including the Sirajuddoula, were sentenced to death for their roles in murdering the madrasa student.

Taslima Begum Renu

Taslima Begum Renu, mother of two children, was beaten to death over a rumour of child-lifting at North Badda in Dhaka on July 20.

The victim went to the area to look for a suitable school for her children when she was attacked by a mob.

Many witnesses recorded the beatingwith their mobile phones, but no one tried to rescue her. The video footage went viral on Facebook, triggering a widespread outrage.

Thirteen suspects have so far been arrested in a case filed over the lynching.