‘Abrar was beaten mercilessly with cricket stump’

Gulam Rabbani :
Abrar Fahad, a student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), was brutally tortured to death two years ago, on October 6 in 2019.
The accused kept him in a room of BUET’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall on a suspicion of being a Shibir activist and repeatedly hit him with cricket stumps and skipping ropes in the name of interrogation.
Abrar was attacked mostly by Anik Sarker, a student of the Mechanical Engineering Department of the university. He confessed to the court that he had hit Abrar more than a hundred times with a cricket stump.
Another accused Muzahidur Rahman told the court that at one stage of the torture, Abrar urinated and vomited. He begged for survival. He wanted to drink water. When someone went to give water to Abrar, Anik got angry over him and threatened to kill him too.
Body of Abrar Fahad, a second-year-student of the university’s electrical and electronic engineering department of BUET, was recovered from BUET’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall.
Later, Abrar’s father Barkat Ullah filed a murder case against 19 BCL leaders of BUET unit with the Chawkbazar Police Station.
The incident triggered a firestorm of protests on campuses across the country. Many took to social media to demand justice for Abrar.
Amid protests on the campus, BUET authorities on October 11 in 2019 banned all political activities on the campus and suspended 19 students, mostly leaders of the university’s BCL unit who were made accused in Abrar Fahad murder case.
On November 13 in 2019, investigation officer of the case, inspector Md Wahiduzzaman, placed the charge sheet in the general register office of the chief metropolitan magistrate court of Dhaka accusing 25 students of BUET.
The court on September 25 in 2020 opened the trial of all 25 accused after framing charges against them in connection with the murder of Abrar Fahad.
Twenty-two accused, who had been in jail, pleaded not guilty and demanded justice after the judge read out charges to them. The remaining three accused are absconding since the incident.
After completing the arguments of the parties, the Judge of the Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 of Dhaka, Abu Zafar Md Kamruzzaman, delivered the verdict on Wednesday.
In the confessional statement given by the eight of the accused it was surfaced how brutally Abrar was tortured to death.
Accused Mizanur Rahman, also a roommate of Abrar Fahad, informed Mehedi Hasan Robin (chemical engineering batch-15), Organizing Secretary of the BUET unit of BCL, that he suspected Abrar as a Shibir activist. Later Robin posted a message in a Facebook group about the suspicion and on October 5 the BCL leaders held a meeting in the hall’s guest room over the issue.
In the confessional statement Anik Sarker, Information Secretary of BUET unit of BCL, said, “Ifti was hitting Abrar with a cricket stump in room number 2011 of the hall. In one stage of interrogation I also hit Abrar minimum 40 to 50 times with a cricket stump. I hit him more than a hundred times in two stages. At 1.20 am Robin informed me that Abrar was vomited.”