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Abrar Fahad: Killing of Bangladesh student triggers protests

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Students across Bangladesh are protesting after an undergraduate was beaten to death at one of the country's most prestigious universities.

The body of Abrar Fahad, 21, was found in a dormitory days after he posted comments criticising the government.

Several members of the student wing of the governing Awami League have been detained in connection with the death.

The killing has shocked Bangladesh and shone a light on the culture of violence in public universities.

The Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of the Awami League, has been widely accused of using torture and extortion against students.

The government has promised to bring those responsible for Abrar Fahad's death to justice.

His body was found on Sunday at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) in the capital, Dhaka.

University, where violence and torture are common

Analysis by Mir Sabbir, BBC Bengali, Dhaka

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Torture of public university students by the student wing of the ruling parties is nothing new. New students are often forced to attend meetings and rallies just to be able to stay in the dormitories. Beating and bullying for having different views or defying the order of the leaders is common inside the universities.

When school students taking part in the 2018 road safety protests were beaten by unknown attackers in helmets, BCL activists were widely blamed.

In the same year, BCL supporters attacked protesting students at Rajshahi University and pictures of one of the victims being beaten with a hammer went viral on social media.

Political parties have been using their student wings as their muscle for a long time. Although the parties are not allowed to have official student wings, their existence is undeniable.

Now even a senior leader of the Awami League has told BBC Bangla that it is time to rethink whether this kind of politics should be supported. Many people in Bangladesh share the same view, not least the parents who are dreaming of sending their children to Buet one day.

On Monday, students in Dhaka and other cities staged street protests, chanting slogans and blocking roads. Protests continued on Tuesday with students at Buet demanding the death penalty for those found guilty of the killing.

Former students and members of the teaching staff also joined the demonstration on the Buet campus.

"This is totally unacceptable that a student will die from torture in a residential hall," said Read More – Source