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20 to die for Abrar murder

Five more Buet students jailed for life

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 9 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
20 to die for Abrar murder

Twenty students of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) were sentenced to death and five others to life imprisonment on Wednesday for killing fellow Abrar Fahad on the campus in the capital.

Judge Abu Zafar Md Kamruzzaman of Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 handed down the verdict amid tight security.

The condemned convicts are Mehedi Hasan Russel, Mehedi Hasan Robin alias Shanto, Anik Sarkar Apu, Moniruzzaman Monir, Meftahul Islam Zion, Ifti Mosharraf Shokal, Mustaba Rafid, Mujahidur Rahman Mujahid, Muntasir Al Jemi and Ehtashamul Rabbi Tanim; activists Khandaker Tabakkarul Islam Tanvir, ASM Nazmus Sadat, Majedur Rahman alias Majed, Hossain Mohammad Toha, Shamim Billah, Mizanur Rahman Mizan, SM Mahmud Setu, Shamsul Arefin Rafat, Muhammad Morshed-Uz-Zaman Mondol alias Jishan and Morshed Amartya Islam.

They were also leaders, members and activists of the Buet unit Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL). They were expelled from BCL on charges of the brutal murder.

Russel was general secretary of Buet unit BCL while Shanto organising secretary, Anik information and research secretary, Monir, literature secretary, Zion sports secretary, Ifti deputy social welfare secretary and Rafid deputy office secretary.

Mujahid, Jemi and Tanim were members while Tanvir, Sadat, Majed, Toha, Billah, Mizan, Setu, Rafat, Jishan and Morshed were activists of the BCL.

The lifers are Muhtasim Fuad, Ishtiaq Ahmed Munna, Amit Saha, Akash Hossain and Moaz Abu Hurayra. Each of them was also fined Tk 50,000, in default to suffer one year more in prison.

Fuad was vice-president of the Buet BCL unit while Munna library and publication secretary and Amit Saha deputy legal affairs secretary. Akash and Abu Hurayra were activists.

Twenty-two of the total 25 convicts are now behind bars and the remaining three -- Mustaba, Jishan and Tanim – remained fugitive.

The court said in its observation that the maximum punishment has been awarded to the accused so that such an incident does not take place again.

The convicts tortured and subsequently killed Abrar on the false allegation that he is an activist of Islami Chhtra Shibir, it mentioned.

Abrar’s father Barkatullah, the plaintiff of the case, who was present in the courtroom, expressed satisfaction over the judgment.

He has thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Law Minister Anisul Huq for ensuring the justice. He demanded quick execution of the verdict.

The prosecution lawyers also expressed satisfaction over the verdict. “This incident has traumatised people of Bangladesh. The tribunal today (Wednesday) awarded the maximum punishment to the accused to prevent any recurrence of such brutality,” said Public Prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol. The prosecution is satisfied by this judgement as it would help to get rid of the stigma of this brutal killing at an educational institute, he said.

Meanwhile, the defence lawyer expressed dissatisfaction over the verdict and claimed that the judgement was not appropriate.

Defence lawyer Faruk Ahmed said, “We think the judgment was not appropriate. We will appeal to the High Court, challenging the verdict.”

A total of 46, out of 60, prosecution witnesses testified before the tribunal in the case.

In the early hours of October 7 in 2019, Abrar Fahad, a second-year student of electrical and electronics engineering (EEE) department of BUET, died after he was brutally beaten allegedly by some BCL men at Sher-e-Bangla Hall of the university in the capital.

Later, the victim’s father, Barkatullah, filed a murder case with Chawkbazar Police Station in the capital against 19 Buet unit BCL leaders and activists on October 7.

The murder triggered a storm of protests on the campuses of the educational institutions across the country. Many took to social media and demanded justice for Abrar.

Amid protests, BCL expelled 12 leaders of its Buet unit for breaching its discipline.

In the wake of the brutal murder, Buet authorities banned all political activities on its campus on October 11 the same year.

Later, they expelled 25 students, mostly leaders and activists of the Buet-unit BCL, on November 21 from the university in connection with the murder case. On November 13, detective police submitted a charge sheet to the court against the 25 accused in the case.

During investigation, eight accused -- Anik, Robein, Ifti, Monir, Zion, Mujahid, Tanvir and Sadat -- gave their confessional statements to different magistrates.

On September 15 last year, the court started trial through framing charges against the 25 accused in the case.