Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) has expelled for life 26 students — 25 of whom are accused of killing the institution’s second-year student Abrar Fahad.
The university made the announcement in a statement, signed by Directorate of Student’s Welfare (DSW) Director Prof Dr Md Mizanur Rahman, issued late on Thursday night.
Six other students were also punished on different terms for breaching the disciplinary code, said the statement. But it did not go into detail.
“We have taken the decision based on the report of the investigation committee the university formed after the murder [of Abrar]. Not based on the charge sheet,” Mizanur told a little after 1 am Friday.
Police on November 13 had submitted a charge sheet against 25 Buet students — most of them leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League’s university unit — in the case filed over Abrar’s murder by his father.
Addressing a press briefing that day, Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Additional Commissioner Monirul Islam said 11 of the accused were directly involved in beating Abrar in several phases to death in Room No 2011 of Buet’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall between 10pm on October 6 and 2:30am October 7.
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The other 14 were indirectly involved in the incident, either by aiding, abetting or planning Abrar’s torture, and one of them was present at the place of occurrence, he said.
According to Buet’s statement, the 26 expelled students are: Mehedi Hasan Robein, Md Anick Sarker, Ifti Mosharraf Shakal, Md Moniruzzaman Monir, Meftahul Islam Zion, Md Muzahidur Rahman, Mehedi Hasan Rasel, Ehteshamul Rabbi Tanim, Khandaker Tabakhkharul Islam Tanvir, Muntasir Alam Jemy, ASM Nazmus Sadat, Md Shamim Billah, Morshed Amartya Islam, Hossain Mohammad Toha, Mujtaba Rafid, Md Mizanur Rahman, Md Ashikul Islam Bitu, SM Mahmud Setu, Ishtiaq Ahmed Munna, Amit Saha, Md Mazedur Rahman, Shamsul Arefin Rafat, Moaz Abu Huraira, Md Akash Hossain, Md Morsheduzzaman Mandal Zisan, and Muhtasim Fuad.
Of them, only Bitu was not named in police’s charge sheet.
The six other students who were punished on different terms are: Abu Nawshad Sakib, Md Saiful islam, Md Galib, Md Shaon Mia, Sakhawat Iqbal Ovi, and Md Ismail.
The university’s Board of Residence and Discipline took the actions based on the findings of Buet’s probe committee, said DSW Director Prof Mizanur in the statement.
He told: “We received the probe report on the night of November 16. Afterwards, the disciplinary board met on November 17, 20 and 21 to evaluate the findings.”
“We took the decision to expel these students on the last meeting held between 5:30pm and 10:30pm on Thursday,” said Mizanur, also the member secretary of the board.
Last Monday, Buet authorities had sought three weeks from the protesting students to meet their three demands, which included the expulsion of those accused of killing Abrar.
File photo of Abrar Fahad, who was murdered by Chhatra League leaders and activists inside a Buet dormitory last month | Collected
The students’ other two demands are: punishment of students involved in ragging; and the categorization and inclusion of student politics and ragging-related issues in the Buet Ordinance through approval of the academic council and Syndicate.
EEE student Abrar, 22, was found dead on a staircase of Sher-e-Bangla Hall in the early hours of October 7, after he was taken to the dormitory’s Room No 2011 around 8pm on October 6, and beaten mercilessly by Chhatra League men late into the night.
Abrar’s father Barkat Ullah filed the murder case at Chawkbazar Police Station against 19 people, mostly leaders and activists of Buet Chhatra League.
Amid students’ protest, the university on October 11 had banned all political activities on campus and suspended 19 students accused in the case.
Out of the 25 accused, only six — Munna, Amit, Mizanur, Shamsul, Mujtaba and Setu — were not named in the first information report (FIR) filed after Abrar’s brutal murder. Their names came to light during investigation, police said.
Of the total, four — Zisan, Tanim, Morshed, and Mujtaba — are still on the run, while the 21 others are behind bars.
Bitu is also yet to be arrested.
Eight of the accused — Robein, Anick, Ifti, Monir, Zion, Muzahidur, Nazmus, and Tanvir — have already confessed in court to their involvement in the murder, which had shocked the nation and sparked countrywide protests.
Their accounts had offered a disturbing insight into how Abrar was beaten with cricket stumps and skipping ropes for hours before his eventual death.
Police said the Chhatra League men’s suspicion that Abrar was involved with Jamaat-e-Islami’s student front Islami Chhatra Shibir was “one of the reasons” they beat him.
In the face of severe backlash, Chhatra League central committee had expelled Mehedi, Fuad, Robein, Anick, Zion, Monir, Ifti, Jemy, Tanim, Muzahidur and Mujtaba from the organization.