• Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
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DU students demand proper investigation into Hafizur's death

  • Published at 07:44 pm May 24th, 2021
Hafizur Rahman-DU Student
File photo of Hafizur Rahman, 24, who died near Dhaka Medical College Hospital main gate on May 15, 2021 Collected from Facebook

According to police, witnesses reportedly saw him hacking himself with a machete in Dhaka University adjacent area on May 15

Students of the 2015-16 academic session at Dhaka University (DU) on Monday formed a human chain demanding a proper investigation into the "mysterious death" of Hafizur Rahman.

The body of Hafizur, 24, a student of the same session at the Information Science and Library Management department of the university and also General Secretary of Dhaka University Mime Action (DUMA), was found in the morgue eight days after he went missing.

The students organised the human chain at the base of Raju memorial at TSC of DU.

They urged the university authorities to file a case on Hafizur’s death, interrogate his friends who were with him just before the incident and formulate a plan of action for ensuring the safety of students in the university area.

Miftahul Islam Pantho, Hafizur's classmate and office secretary of the DU unit of the Chhatra League, spelt out the demands at the human chain.

The former assistant general secretary of Dhaka University Central Students' Union (Ducsu) and also General Secretary of the DU unit of the Chhatra League, Md Saddam Hussain, and leaders of other socio-cultural organizations of the university expressed their solidarity with the rally.

Demanding a fair investigation, Saddam said: "We want to know what exactly happened on that day and before and after the incident. Let the university students know the truth, otherwise the Chhatra League will wage a tougher movement until the truth prevails." 

Also Read: Family finds missing DU student’s body in DMCH morgue after 8 days

The responsible authorities, including the police, failed to show their professionalism, the Chhatra League leader remarked.

"Even after knowing about an unidentified young boy's body being found in the Central Shaheed Minar area the university authorities did not take any step to know who he was. When you do not realize your responsibility, you no longer have the moral ground to hold a responsible position," he added.

Saddam, on behalf of the ruling party's student wing, urged the DU administration to form an inquiry committee, and said that legal action as well as administrative action should be taken against those who had shown a lack of responsibility.

Tahmina Akter Labonno, a student of the Islamic Studies Department, said: "We want to know whether Hafizur's death was murder or suicide. If it was self-killing, then we want to know the reason behind it."

At the end of the demonstration, the students marched to the proctor’s office and spoke to DU Proctor AKM Golam Rabbani over the issue.

The Bangladesh Chhatra Union and Socialist Students Front expressed their grave concerns through separate press releases over the unnatural death of Hafizur Rahman, demanding an inquiry into it.

DU Vice-Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman requested law enforcers to write a probe report quickly. He ordered the DU proctor to submit a report in this regard as well. 

A four-member probe committee headed by Assistant Proctor Liton Kumar Saha has been formed to prepare a full investigation report after analyzing all the details of Hafizur's death, said DU Proctor Golam Rabbani.

Moreover, Bangladesh Mime Federation has demanded unravelling the mystery of the death of mime artist Hafizur. Bangladeshi mime artists gathered before the press club and urged that those involved in the unnatural death of Hafizur should be brought under justice.

What we know till now

Quoting witness accounts, the Officer-in-Charge of Shahbagh police station, Mamun-or-Rashid, said that Hafizur was seen hacking himself with a machete near the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) main gate, which is adjacent to the Central Shaheed Minar, on the night of May 15. Hafizur reportedly took the sharp weapon from a coconut seller.

Afterwards, a patrol team of Shahbagh police took him to DMCH. But he died on the operating table, said the OC. When the police could not identify the youth at the time, his body was kept at the DMCH morgue.

According to family and friends, Hafizur spent Eid day, May 14, at his village home in Kasba, Brahmanbaria, and left for Dhaka in a hurry the next day.

After the family failed to contact him, they filed a general diary at Kasba police station. Receiving a notification, Shahbagh police contacted the family after suspecting that the body kept in the morgue could be Hafizur’s.

Hafizur’s elder brother Habibur Rahman came to Dhaka on Sunday and identified the body.

The Shahbagh police OC said that police had already filed an unnatural death case and they would investigate it.

Meanwhile, many of Hafizur’s friends and DU students took to Facebook to mourn his untimely death and demanded a proper investigation by police into the matter.