Within only a few moments in the darkness of the night, all his hopes were shattered
As he was being beaten to death at the Sher-e-Bangla Hall of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), Twenty-one-year-old Abrar Fahad's phone kept ringing. Perhaps, he no longer had any strength left to answer a phone call from his mother.
"Maybe he saw my call and cried a lot, but could not pick it up. I can sense how much torture he had to undergo at that time," said Fahad's mother.
On Sunday night, Abrar Fahad was mercilessly beaten to death by some hall unit leaders of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, who suspected him of being involved with Shibir – student wing of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.
Born in a lower middle class family of Kushtia sadar, Abrar Fahad had been a meritorious student since childhood. Since childhood, he had dreamt of becoming an acclaimed engineer.
Studies were his only interest, and he found no time to get involved in politics, according to his family members and classmates.
Even though he had planned to pass his holidays in his hometown until October 20, he left early for his university hall as exams were right around the corner, said his family members.
They also said Abrar had never gotten into any altercations with anyone.
"My son was very polite and he never misbehaved with anyone. Why should he be killed by his fellow students then?" asked Abrar's mother. "I want justice. I do not want anything. The killers should be punished. They broke my family's heart," she said.
Brushing aside the allegation of Abrar's involvement in Shibir politics, his family members said some people are spreading rumours against him.
"Our family follows the ideologies of the Bangladesh Awami League, but my brother was not involved in politics," said Abrar Fayaj, the younger brother of Abrar Fahad.
"On Sunday night, I called him but he did not answer. Later, I also tried to contact him via Facebook messenger, but failed to reach him. They killed my brother brutally," said Fayaj, an intermediate student at the Dhaka College.
"I demand capital punishment for his killers," he said.
Meanwhile, a friend of Abrar, wishing anonymity, told The Business Standard that Abrar was in his room at 9pm on Sunday night. Some BCL leaders, along with Buet BCL Assistant Secretary Ashikul Islam Bitu, came to his room and took him to room no 2011.
"There, they tortured him mercilessly for at least five hours. Later they threw him near the stair of the second floor," he added.
Ashikul Islam Bitu, however, told The Business Standard that Abrar posted many controversial comments on Facebook against the government. "We found his involvement in Shibir politics as he liked many Shibir-run pages."
On Monday, students of Buet, Dhaka University and some other universities staged demonstrations demanding capital punishment for Abrar's killers.
Nurul Haque Nur, the vice-president of the Dhaka University Central Students' Union, said that the nation had lost a talented student.
"I want exemplary punishment for the killers. We will also continue our demonstrations until all his killers are arrested," he said.