Monday, February 24, 2020 | ePaper

Abrar killers to face highest punishment: PM

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday assured that maximum punishment will be meted out to those involved in the brutal killing of Buet student Abrar Fahad.
She also questioned the justification of the movement by students when the government is taking action against the offenders.
"Why's this movement? The trial (of the offenders) must be held. It's necessary to feel the pain of a mother or a father who lost their children. I understand it as I lost all my father, mother and bothers," Sheikh Hasina said.
She further said, "He (Abrar) was son of a general family. What's the reason behind the brutal and dangerous act like picking up and beating such a brilliant student? So, we're taking action against them. All kinds of highest punishment will be given to them and there's no doubt about it."
The Prime Minister came up with the remarks while addressing a press conference about the outcomes of her recent official visits to the USA and India. Abrar, 21, a resident of Sher-e-Bangla Hall of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), was pronounced dead around 3am on Monday by Buet medical officer Dr Md Mashuk Elahi after he was mercilessly beaten allegedly by some Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists of the university unit.
Hasina said she considers offenders as offenders irrespective of their political identity. "When anyone commits any offence, I don't care which party he/she belongs to. "So, I don't understand anything like party, and the offenders must be punished."
"I don't consider who belongs to Chhatra League or Chhatra Dal. I'm taking into consideration the offence as a 21-year-old boy was beaten to death unfairly. It's an inhuman act," she said.
After receiving information about the incident in the morning, the Prime Minister said, she asked the police to immediately collect evidence from the spot and the CCTV footage.
She said it is regrettable that policemen were encircled and obstructed when they were returning after collecting the CCTV footage through hard disk. "The IGP informed me that police members were not being allowed to come out with the evidence and footage."
Hasina said students obstructed the police not for taking the CCTV footage but in fear that they would destroy the evidence although police took steps for proper autopsy of the body, collected evidence and arrested those involved in the incident from different rooms of the Buet hall.
"Here is my question that why were police obstructed from collecting the evidence? ....they (police) later collected the footage and gave a copy to the authorities. Now police are identifying the offenders scrutinising the footage," she said.
The Prime Minister also said it is necessary to find out the reason behind the obstruction to police from bringing the CCTV footage as three hours were wasted for it.
Mentioning that there were not much external injuries to Abrar's body but internal ones, she recalled that many Awami League leaders were killed in such a way after 2001.
Sheikh Hasina said she immediately instructed Chhatra League leaders to expel all those involved in the murder. "I also instructed the police to arrest them. We had taken steps before students took to the streets."
About the intruders into the ruling party, she said there are some people who remain permanently with the government party.
Replying to another question, she ruled out the demand for banning student politics. "Since I myself emerged through student politics, why should I talk about banning student politics?"
The Prime Minister, however, said if the Buet authorities want, they can do it. "They have the Syndicate and a committee. They can do it. We won't interfere in it."
She also said this is an autocratic attitude that student politics should completely be banned.
Hasina said instructions will be given to search educational institutions and their halls to arrest the goons to stop the recurrence of killing like Abrar's one.
She also said it cannot be accepted that students will indulge in hooliganism staying in halls with public money.

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