The Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court on Tuesday took cognisance of the charges pressed against 25 students of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology for reportedly killing their fellow Abrar Fahad Rabbi.
The judge, KM Emrul Kayesh, also fixed January 30 for hearing on charge framing against the accused.
During the hearing, 22 out of the total 25 accused were present in the court.
Abrar, 21, a second year student electrical and electronic engineering department, was reportedly beaten to death by Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders at the university’s Sher-e-Bangla Hall on October 7, 2019 for being highly critical of Bangladesh-India treaty on sharing river water.
His death sparked massive protests and drew extensive criticism.
During the hearing, eight defence pleaders including Amit Shaha and Muntasir Al Jemmi filled bail petitions, which were turned down by the court.
Investigation officer of the case Md Wahiduzaman submitted the charge sheet to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Dhaka on November 13 where he accused 25 BUET students.
The chief metropolitan magistrate Kaiserul Islam on November 18, after scrutinising the charge sheet, issued warrant for the arrest of four students — Morsheduzzaman Zisan, Ehtashamul Rabbi Tanim, Morshed Amartya Islam, and Muztaba Rafid — who were still absconding.
On December 3, a court ordered the confiscation of properties of four fugitive accused in the killing case.
Morshed Amartya Islam, however, surrendered to the court of Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Yasmin Ara on January 12 and the court sent him to judicial custody.
On January 13, the trial was shifted to the Dhaka Metropolitan Session Judge’s Court from Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court.
Additional commissioner Monirul Islam earlier told the media that they identified 11 of the 25 students, who were involved in the beating that left Abrar killed.
The charge sheet mentioned 31 prosecution witnesses, including Abrar’s six family members, 7 teachers of BUET and physician, 13 students, and five employees.
Eight of the 25 suspects confessed to the court that they were involved with torturing Abrar.
The investigators found involvement of 22 students through the CCTV footage, while the rest three were named by the corroborative evidences and reported confessions.
According the Detective Branch investigators, BUET Chhatra League general secretary Mehedi Hasan Russel of civil engineering department, vice-president Muhtasim Fuad of civil engineering, organising secretary Mehedi Hasan Robin, information and research affairs secretary Anik Sarkar, deputy social welfare secretary Ifti Mosharrf Sakal, sports secretary Meftahul Islam Zion of naval architecture and marine engineering, Moniruzzaman Monir of water resources, Muzahidur Rahman Muzahid of civil engineering departments, Majedur Rahman of marine engineering, Khandaker Tabakkharul Islam Tanvir, Hossen Mohammad Toha, Mohammad Akash of civil engineering, Mohammad Shamim Billah of the marine engineering department, Muntasir Alam Jemi of chemical engineering, Mohammad Moaj Abu Huraira and ASM Nazmus Sadat were named in the FIR and also named in the charge sheet.
They also named Ishtiaq Hasan Munna of mechanical engineering department, Shamsul Arefin Rafat of mechanical engineering, Amit Saha, SM Mahmud Setu and Mizanur Rahman in the charge sheet although they were not initially named in the complaint.
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