BUET student Abrar’s home in Kushtia town resounded with laments of his grief-stricken mother. “I saw him off at the bus stop myself yesterday when he left for Dhaka,” she sobbed.
The people around her too were in shock. They could hardly believe such a meritorious student and good boy could be killed in this manner.
Police had recovered Abrar’s body at 3 in the early hours of Monday at the ground floor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall. He had allegedly been beaten to death by BUET hall unit Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders and activists.
Abrar was a second year student of BUET’s electrical and electronic engineering department.
A visit to his home on PTI Road in Kushtia town on Monday morning found the air heavy with grief.
When the news of Abrar’s death broke out, certain quarters began saying he was an activist of Jamaat-e-Islami’s student front Islami Chhatra Shibir. His family, however, rejected such claims, saying that he and his entire family were supporters of Awami League.
His uncle Mizanur Rahman said, “There is a rumour being spread that Abrar was a Shibir activist. That is false. We are all Awami League supporters. We attend meetings of Hanif (AL joint general secretary). Abrar would attend the religious gathering of ‘tablig’ and went on ‘tablig’ a couple of times while at BUET.”
Abrar’s father Barkatullah worked as an auditor at BRAC and mother Rokeya Khatun a kindergarten teacher. Abrar was the elder of two brothers, his young brother Abrar Fayaz a second-year HSC student at Dhaka College. Fayaz would stay at the Dhaka College hostel, near the Sher-e-Bangla Hall. Their home in Kushtia was next door to the home of AL leader Mahbub Ul Alam Hanif.
Abrar’s family said that he had come home on holiday 10 days ago and had wanted to stay on till 20 October. However, as his exams were coming up, he decided to go back to concentrate on his studies.
Mother Rokeya Khatun demanded that her son’s killers be caught. “I saw him off at the bus stop yesterday,” she said, “He had set off for Dhaka. I talked to him thrice or four times since then. He called me at around 5 in the afternoon as he reached the hall. That was the last time I talked to him. I called him several times at night, but he didn’t reply.”
His younger brother said, “When he didn’t reply to the phone calls, I tried to contact him over Facebook Messenger. He was active on Facebook, but didn’t reply.”