Abrar Fahad’s death: Politics inside universities

Abrar Fahad, 21, student of Dhaka’s Bangladesh University of Engineering, suffered at least four hours of torture before taking his last breath. 13 suspects were detained by the police for the involvement of Fahad’s death, based on dormitory hall CCTV footage.

A Facebook comment by Abrar Fahad

Before the cruel torture, sources found out that Fahad was actively criticizing Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina over a deal allowing India access to water supply from a river on the border of the two nations. Abrar Fahad expressed his objection towards the Prime Minister over several comments using his social media account Facebook.

Abrar Fahad

Abrar Fahad’s last Facebook post

Witnesses claimed that Fahad was taken from his room at around 8:00 pm and was beaten for at least 4 hours. The attending physician who examined the student’s body confirmed that he died from severe bruises in his body.

There was a lot of blunt force trauma in his body. I can say that he died of attacks with blunt objects.

13 students were taken into custody by the Bangladesh Police,10 of which are members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL)- student group in the university for the Awami League party. Awami League party is the political party of ruling Prime Minister Hasina.

BCL violence oriented arm in universities

BCL has been notorious for having several members being involved in violent incidents within universities, mostly politically motivated. Supported by the ruling party in Bangladesh, this student group is pretty confident that there will always be someone to back them up in times of trouble.

During a road safety protest in 2018, university students were beaten down by unknown attackers wearing helmets. BCL activists were primarily suspected of the beating.

In that same year, protesting students at Rajshahi University were also beaten by BCL supporters. The incident was recorded and went viral on social media.

Political parties are supposedly not allowed to have student organization affiliates in universities, but lack of strict implementation and backing up of ruling parties make implementation impossible in most cases.

Even the United Nations in Bangladesh has expressed its disappointment with Abrar Fahad’s death.

The student died for freely expressing his political views. Campus violence in Bangladesh over the years has affected and claimed multiple lives and this is without any heavy sanctions being given to the assaulters.

The death of Fahad lit the fire in the political protests all around Bangladesh. Urging to abolish political representation in universities and implementing lethal punishment against the perpetrators of cruel university crimes similar to Fahad’s case.