The recent killing of Abrar Fahad, a student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), by a few leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), revealed the brutality and violence that has been going on in the university for long.
The BUET unit of BCL, the student wing of ruling Awami League, had set up a permanent arrangement in the university to torture students. This was a virtual ‘concentration camp’. Teachers and students of the university now reveal that students had regularly been tortured there and anyone could easily have faced the same fate as Abrar.
Any student who was not a follower of the pro-government BCL could have become a victim of such brutality, and even been killed like Abrar. This system had been in place for long and the BUET vice chancellor and provost of the halls were all aware of what was going on. Many teachers, not in administrative posts, also knew about the barbarity.
Even the law enforcement was ineffective in face of this powerful bastion of brutality. On Sunday night when the Chawk Bazar police got news of Abrar being tortured, a sub-inspector of the police station along with his team arrived at Sher-e-Bangla Hall but were blocked from entry by BCL leaders.
The question is, how did this powerful network of torture and oppression build up?
Even the provost of Sher-e-Bangla Hall, responsible for the welfare of the students residing there, did nothing, or could do nothing, to save the boy from his frenzied assailants.
For a long time the vice chancellor, Saiful Islam, did not turn up before the grieving students. The students were angry and disappointed at his lack of sensitivity.
The vice chancellor and the entire university administration must also bear blame for the vicious criminal system established by the pro-government student front in BUET.
It is imperative to permanently remove this system of torture from the university. One of the main demands of the students’ 10-point demand is that all physical and mental torture against those of ‘different’ views and harassment in the name of ragging must be halted. BUET teachers’ association and BUET alumni association have demanded the resignation of vice chancellor Saiful Islam. They have also demanded a ban on politics for teachers and students of BUET.
It is imperative that an end be brought to this unrest at BUET and normalcy be restored on campus. The demands of the teachers and students must be implemented. It is obvious that the incumbent BUET administration will be able to do nothing. Vice chancellor Saiful Islam must step down.