Students in different universities take to streets demanding capital punishment for the murderers
Abrar Fahad’s murder in his own dormitory on the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) campus has sparked overwhelming protests all over the country.
Students of several universities demonstrated yesterday demanding justice for Abrar and capital punishment for the killers, while netizens burst with anger criticizing the murder, allegedly committed by some leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of the ruling party.
Abrar, a second year student of Buet’s electrical and electronic engineering department, was beaten to death for his alleged involvement with Islami Chhatra Shibir — the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.
At Dhaka University (DU), students brought out a procession in protest against the murder. The procession started from the TSC intersection around 12pm, paraded the campus and then ended at Buet campus, showing solidarity with the demonstrating students there.
Several hundred DU students, led by Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) Vice-President Nurul Haque Nur, also held a protest rally at the TSC intersection around 12:30pm.
Addressing the rally, Ducsu Social Welfare Secretary Akhter Hossain said it was clear who killed Abrar. “We want immediate exemplary punishment of the killers so that no such incident can take place in the future.”
In the afternoon, Buet students had cordoned off the provost’s office at the university’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall, where Abrar resided and was murdered, asking the authorities to release the CCTV camera footage in order to identify the killers.
They demonstrated there for over an hour, before the rain started and the senior students urged them to remain patient.
Meanwhile, students at Rajshahi University (RU) demonstrated on their campus in protest against the murder around 2pm yesterday and at one point blockaded Dhaka-Rajshahi Highway at the RU main entrance for half an hour.
At a brief rally there, students said that the state has failed to ensure safety for all citizens. Students have fallen victim to oppression and attacks as many were beaten at different universities in recent times. All of them were deprived of justice, they said.
At Jahangirnagar University (JU), teachers, students and different socio-cultural organisations held a human chain and protest rally on campus demanding justice for Abrar.
JU archaeology student Kabbo Krittika said no person shall be killed for following a different ideology, but this murder happened because of the culture of impunity in the country.
Students at Khulna University (KU), wearing black masks, held a human chain in front of the main entrance of the university demanding justice for Abrar.
At another demonstration at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) in Sylhet, students said that Abrar’s murder was a result of the occupation and fear created by Chhatra League.Students at all these universities and other educational institutions across the country demanded immediate arrest and exemplary punishment of the killers, and urged the government to take necessary steps so that no other student would fall victim to such brutality.
People were also seen coming down heavy on the killers and demanding justice for Abrar on social networking sites, including Facebook.
Bangladesh Chhatra Federation in a media statement also condemned the murder and urged the authorities to ensure the arrest and punishment of the Chhatra League leaders responsible.
At Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University in Tangail, students demonstrated yesterday evening in protest against the murder.
Tying their mouths with black cloth, they lit candles in Abrar’s memory at the Prattay 71 Chhatra on the campus during the demonstration.
Political parties condemn
BNP yesterday condemned Abrar’s murder and claimed he was killed for protesting the government's anti-state deal with India.
Armed goons brutally killed Abrar so that no one will dare to speak, write or raise their voice against the misdeeds and wrongdoings of the government, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said in a statement.
Gono Songhoti Andolon also condemned the murder and demanded cancellation of the anti-state deal with India.
Fahim Reza Shovon in Dhaka, Hedait Hossain Moll in Khulna, Shoyaib Rahman in JU, Tousif Kaiyum in RU, and Zahid Hassan in SUST contributed to this report