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'Abrar’s killers abused political affiliation'

  • Published at 11:15 am November 13th, 2019
File photo: CCTV camera shows Abrar Fahad being carried out by Tanim, Moaz and Jemy in hall premises Collected

Police submits charge-sheet against 25 in Abrar murder case

The killers of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) student Abrar Fahad, mostly leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League, abused their political affiliation to unleash a reign of fear on the campus, police say.

Coming down heavily on the Buet administration, Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s (DMP) Additional Commissioner Monirul Islam on Wednesday said the murder case accused created a reign of terror in the name of ragging, resulting in the murder of the promising student.

He came up with the observation while briefing the media, over the filing of the charge sheet in the murder case, at the DMP Media Centre in Dhaka in the afternoon.

"Lax monitoring on the activities of the Buet students led the killers of Abrar Fahad to create a reign of terror on the campus," Monirul continued. 

"If the authorities of the residential halls and the university monitored everything properly, this torture and murder in the name of ragging would not have taken place," he said, adding that the suspected killers had always led rowdy and chaotic lives.

Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) Chief Monirul Islam at the press biefing of the Abrar Fahad murder case at DMP media centre in the capital on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka TribuneHad the administration of the most prominent engineering public university taken proper care of the discipline and safety of their students, the incident could have been avoided, he said.

Earlier in the day, police pressed charges against 25 current and former members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League Buet unit in the murder case filed by Abrar’s father on October 7.

Among the accused, 21 have already been arrested while four others are absconding.

DB Inspector Md Wahiduzzaman, also the investigation officer of the case, submitted the charge sheet to the court of Dhaka Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Md Kairsarul Islam.

"The suspects used to torture other students if they failed to greet them with a Salam [the standard salutation among Muslims] or smile at them so that other students would get the message," Monirul said.

The additional commissioner of the DMP continued: "A murder case was filed naming 19 Buet students. But during the investigation, police unearthed six more names in connection with the murder."

'Buet could have been a bit more careful'

Adding that the hall and university authorities could have been a bit more careful, the additional commissioner of the DMP said: "Although this did not come up as part of the investigation, after judging and observing the entire incident we still think that the Buet hall authorities showed some lax behaviour."

File photo of Abrar Fahad | Collected"We found in the investigation that they (accused killers) started torturing Abrar around 10pm and the doctor declared him dead around 2:50am. If he had been taken to the hospital sometime before then, his life could have been saved."

When responding to questions regarding a quicker police response, Monirul Islam said: "Police were informed about the incident around 3am and a patrol team rushed to the campus immediately."

“One of major motives behind Abrar’s murder was to find out if he was involved with Shibir [Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing]. However, there was no single motive behind the killing. Abrar’s killers were used to violent behaviour in the name of ragging,” said Monirul. 

“The accused did this to newcomers. They would always create an environment of fear in the campus. But we [police] have not received any complaint about that in the past," he said.

Abrar could have been saved if he was taken to the hospital, he continued. 

“We need the deposition of eyewitnesses and traditional investigation to solve these kinds of cases. Abrar’s murder case has an investigation officer, investigation team, circumstantial evidence, and evidence from the Facebook messenger application,” he said. 

“Confessional statements of eight accused and evidence collected from online proved some aspects of the murder case. However, eyewitnesses in such types of cases often step back in giving statements. 

"But the way we prepared the charge sheet, we hope they will face capital punishment,” Monirul added.

They also made some junior students work as their orderlies. The suspects also used their political identity as a shelter, Monirul said.

Abrar, a second-year student of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of Buet was beaten to death inside the university’s residential Sher-e-Bangla Hall in the early hours of October 7.

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