There are hardly any words to condemn the gruesome incident which took place in a residential hall of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) over a week ago. The murder of Abrar Fahad at the hands of his fellow students has by now led to the opening of a Pandora's Box that has the Buet unit of the Bangladesh Chhatra League exposed for the excesses it has been committing at the university. We are appalled not just by the killing of Abrar Fahad but also by all the tales of sinister activities that have been filtering out as a result of the tragic happening. It appears that by exploiting its position as the student wing of the ruling party, the Chhatra League has been indulging in acts which clearly have undermined the working of the Buet administration, particularly in the halls.
Equally disturbing has been the fact that despite knowing of everything that has been going wrong at the university, the Buet authorities took no step to discipline the Chhatra League cadres. It now appears that the administration and the teachers' union at the university were in the know of the activities of those who bludgeoned Abrar to death and yet stayed silent. Now, with all the gory details coming to the fore, and of course as a result of the public outcry over the murder, the Buet administration has gone for action. The teachers' association, in what is clearly a face-saving move, has condemned the criminal activities of the students now in the custody of the law. We might add here that the failure of the Vice Chancellor of the university in the aftermath of Abrar's killing to take action, indeed to make an appearance and try to contain the rising anger among Buet students was deplorable. Forty hours went by before the VC was able to make a statement and appear before his students, whose sense of moral outrage at his behaviour was understandable.
Now that the perpetrators of the crime are in custody and investigations are underway to enforce justice, we expect the law to work quickly and without any interference from any quarter. At the same time we expect Buet and all other universities to be freed of the virus that has descended on them in the form of activities which certainly cannot be described as student politics. We recall the era when student politics was geared to the achievement of the sublime goals of democracy and national liberty. Indeed, student leaders in the past did not stoop to the immorality which the Chhatra League men at Buet have demonstrated by their actions. It is a shame they have not only brought on themselves but also on the political party they are aligned to. These unscrupulous young men have not only embarrassed the government but also the nation. They must pay for their crimes and misdemeanours.
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