Strong message to offenders
The Daily Star talked to several current and former university teachers after a Dhaka court yesterday convicted 25 Buet students, who were also involved with the Chhatra League, for killing their peer Abrar Fahad in October 2019.
The teachers observed that the tragic incident of Abrar murder is the outcome of the descent into criminality of student politics, which apparently controls most educational institutions in the country.
They also blamed mainstream political parties and even teacher politics for the situation.
Professor Anu Muhammad said both Abrar and his killers are victims of corrupt politics on campuses over the years.
"They were all brilliant students… national assets. But when one is killed by others, it becomes a waste of national assets," Prof Anu Muhammad said. "None of them were criminals before being admitted to the university."
The role of the ruling party student wing and mal-politics are to blame for this, he said, adding, "We observe such a situation in all the universities."
Noted economist Prof Dr Moinul Islam has blamed political parties for such "heinous" incidents and termed the development tragic.
"Political parties have been using student organisations as a factory for raising goons to serve their ill interests. A culture has developed in the country to use students' organisations as the muscle forces of political parties. In the name of politics, politicians have kept student leaders and activists busy in unruly activities for their own benefit."
Dr Moinul, also a retired professor of economics at Chittagong University, said almost all political parties are responsible for such a culture. They cannot deny their responsibility for "criminalisation of student politics".
The practice has gotten so bad that student politics has actually become "subservient" politics. Public university teachers are also deeply involved in this servile politics, he added.
MOHAMMAD TANZIMUDDIN KHAN
Dhaka University Professor of international relations Tanzimuddin Khan said, "The Abrar murder is the manifestation of mal-politics practised in the name of politics. Teachers in universities are so lenient towards leaders of the ruling student organisations that they often incite the misdeeds of the student leaders by supporting them. The Abrar murder has proved the kind of miserable situation that has been created for the students.
"The teachers assuming different posts in the administration are severely unaware. This culture will change when there will be a qualitative change in the degenerated culture that has taken hold in the name of politics."
Prof Mizanur Rahman, director of student welfare at Buet, said the verdict is a strong message to those who live in residential facilities not only in Buet but all other universities and colleges across Bangladesh. "It now becomes clear that one has to undergo a trial process if he or she tortures a student mentally or physically in a dormitory and gets involved in such malpractice," he told this newspaper.
"In the future, those who are thinking of committing such acts will think twice. Overall, the verdict is a strong message to all," he added.