Buet VC visits Abrar’s grave amid protests
12:00 AM, October 10, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:25 AM, October 10, 2019

The VC visits Abrar’s grave amid protests

Buet Vice-chancellor Prof Saiful Islam faced protests from locals when he went to visit Abrar Fahad’s home in Kushtia yesterday evening.  

Obstructed by villagers, he could not enter the house in Roydanga village of Kumarkhali upazila to console Abrar’s mother. 

The protesters demanded his resignation for Buet’s failure to stop such a gruesome incident. 

Abrar, a second-year student of the university’s electrical and electronic engineering department, was beaten to death by some BCL men at the university’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall sometime between 7:30pm Sunday and 2:30am Monday. 

Around 4:00pm yesterday, Prof Saiful reached Kushtia Circuit House along with some Buet teachers and officials. After having lunch there, they set out for Abrar’s home and reached the village around 5:15pm.  

Kushtia Deputy Commissioner Aslam Hossain, Superintendent of Police SM Tanvir Arafath, Kushtia Awami League General Secretary Asgor Ali, Kushtia Zilla Parishad Chairman Robiul Islam and other officials were with him. 

The VC first met Abrar’s grandfather Abdul Gafur. Talking to the VC, the grandfather burst into tears. At district administration officials’ request, Abrar’s father Barkatullah came to meet the VC.     

Speaking to Prof Saiful, Barkatullah said he had been in Dhaka for 23 hours with the body of his son, but the VC did not meet him. “You only communicated with me over the phone.”      

Local Jubo League and BCL leaders and activists were present there.  

The VC then went to Abrar’s grave to offer fateha.  

He went to Abrar’s home, but could not go past the gate due to obstruction by a large number of people.   

The demonstrators urged him to go back and resign. They also chanted slogans, demanding justice for Abrar.  

When the VC was about to leave the place, the wife of one of Abrar’s cousins laid down in front of his car. Police then removed her.  

Talking to journalists before the VC’s arrival, Barkatullah said, “I learnt that Amit [Saha] was one of the masterminds behind the killing, but his name was not included on the killers’ list.” 

He said police prepared the list of the alleged killers and he was asked to sign it and he did.

In reply to a query, Barkatullah said he would talk to top police officials why Amit’s name was left out. 

Journalists asked the VC why he came to the village four days after the incident and why he did not even attend Abrar’s namaz-e-janaza.    

In response, he said he had to contact all, including the prime minister and education minister, and he had to make decisions observing the overall situation.  

Prof Saiful claimed there was no fault on his part. “I tried to do many things. I talked to Abrar’s maternal uncle and managed all the things.” 

He said he called the deputy education minister, who was in Mumbai at that time. 

Incidents of students being tortured were not new at Buet. The authorities had taken steps after investigations, the VC said, adding they would take measures in connection with Abrar murder after enquiry.   

He said he accepted all the demands of the students but would not resign. 

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