The small Roydanga Eidgah and the adjacent graveyard ground in Kushtia’s Raidanga village could hardly hold the influx of people who turned up for the funeral of Abrar Fahad yesterday.
There were around 3,000 mourners of different ages. Most of them were shedding tears silently, talking in low voices and seen shaking their heads in disbelief, reflecting on how an innocent boy was brutally killed.
“How could this brutality take place with such a boy who never even talked loudly,” said Habibul Hossain of Roydanga village.
Hossain, a government employee who knows Abrar’s family, also said he still could not believe that Abrar died due to such a heinous act.
Abrar was a second-year student of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet). He was beaten to death by Bangladesh Chhatra League men at his university dorm on Sunday night.
Habibul’s sentiment was echoed in that somber gathering. Most of them became emotional while responding to queries.
Those who were closely associated with the family or had seen Abrar growing up said Abrar was polite, meritorious and religious.
Another villager, Altaf Hossain, said although Abrar visited his ancestral home occasionally, he had always been respectful and loved to play with the other children.
“He loved to play football or cricket with the little kids. He was also the go-to-person for students who wanted to solve a math problem or enrich their English grammar skill. He sat with those kids in front of his home to impart lessons,” Altaf said.
He demanded exemplary punishment for the killers.
Mir Zahid, a teacher of Kushtia Zilla School from where Abrar completed his secondary schooling, said there are two types of students -- one chaotic and the other polite and meritorious.
“Abrar belonged to the latter group. He hardly talked in the class, but was first to answer a question,” the teacher said, adding everybody loved him.
Nader Hossain, a relative of the slain Buet student, said Abrar always dreamed of doing big things.
“He was eager to learn and whenever a relative went to Dhaka he requested them to bring books,” Nader said.
Abrar’s grandfather, who is now 86 and lives in Roydanga village, looked very annoyed over whispers of his grandson’s affiliation with Jamaat-Shibir. .
“I have learnt politics from Bangabandhu. I was loyal to his Awami League. How are people saying that I was not involved with the Awami League? I want to talk to Prime Minister Hasina,” the octogenarian said.
Abrar’s younger brother Abrar Fiyaz said that his parents were totally devastated. His father Barkatullah said: “They have shattered my dream. They have ruined us.”
The family was going through economic hardship after Barkatullah’s retirement. They had hoped Abrar would be the one to make things better. .
But Abrar took a final journey back home, leaving the nation in mourning. The second Namaz-e-janaja of Abrar was held at Al-Hera Jame mosque, near Abrar’s residence at PTTI road in Kushtia town and the first Janaza was held in his university (Buet) in Dhaka on Monday night.