Buet students note that Sakal came to the university with high aspirations, but it was negative politics which changed his life and turned him into a killer
Ifti Mosharrf Sakal, a young man of promise, took admission at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Highly ambitious, he spent most of the day at his study table, his goal being to fulfill his ambition.
The reality is different now. He is among those accused of murdering Abrar Fahad on Sunday.
Buet students note that Sakal came to the university with high aspirations, but it was negative politics which changed his life and turned him into a killer.
Syed Emad Uddin Shubha, a friend of Sakal and third year student of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, said, "In the early days Sakal was well known for his politeness on the Buet campus and had excellent relations with his friends and other students, especially in his hall."
"But in a short span of time Sakal moved out of the light and into an area of darkness, becoming violent and turning into a terror for other students. We could never have imagined that our very own Sakal would change into such a fearsome person," he said.
"Actually Sakal was determined to fulfill his dream and he studied till the end of the first year. He was subjected to severe ragging by his seniors and at the same time his eight-year long relationship with a girl came to an end. At the beginning of his second year at Biomedical Engineering Department, he gradually became close to the Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders who used to torture general students," he said.
"The seniors lured him into their camp with promises that he would be the hero of the campus and so he could do everything at whim. Sakal was in the end defeated by dirty politics," Emad said.
It is not only Sakal but also the others accused of Abrar's killing who have been some of the most meritorious students in their batches. Some of them had obtained remarkable results at the secondary and higher secondary levels.
But association with the violent activities of the Bangladesh Chhatra League has now brought their careers on the verge of ruin.
It has been a common practice at Buet for seniors to dominate junior students, heaping humiliation on them and even subjecting them to torture with the encouragement of BCL leaders on the campus.
Wednesday night was always one of horror for Buet students. The BCL leaders of the BUET unit would select some students from each hall, bringing them to a room or to the roof of a hall building. They then had the sadistic pleasure of humiliating them and on many days they assaulted the students for no rhyme or reason, BUET sources have said.
A student seeking anonymity told The Business Standard that there is no student at Buet who has not been assaulted or humiliated.
According to Buet sources, they took the admission through tough competition. At least 13 students vied for each 1030 seats every year.
Mehedi Hasan Rasel, suspended general secretary of BCL Buet unit, passed BSc and linked up with politics after the Awami League was re-elected to power in 2014.
Within a few years he managed to earn the trust of former leaders of the BCL Buet unit and became general secretary through their blessings. Once he obtained the leadership position, he began to control all the torture cells in the different halls of the university.
One of Rasel's friends named Shah, at Sher-e Bangla Hall, said it had not been Rasel's target to be a BCL leader. He was also ambitious like other students of the university. But he could not escape the nasty politics at the institution.
"We were optimistic that Rasel might change the nature of Buet politics. But he was under the influence of his seniors and our expectations were belied," he said.
Rasel's father Ruhul Amin, who has served in the army, told The Business Standard that the family entertained a lot of hope when Rasel took admission at Buet. "It was our dream that my son will change our economic and social status by taking a good job after qualifying from Buet. But now we have been thrown into frustration," he said.
"Rasel was a brilliant and innocent boy since childhood. He was my pride. I spent all my income on his education. But I was never ready to see a Rasel who is accused of murder," he added.
"The Buet administration is also highly responsible for the deterioration of my son's life," he complained.
"I am not shocked that my son is an accused in a case of murder. But I am upset that a brilliant boy's life has been destroyed," he said.
Anik Sarker, a final year student of the mechanical engineering department and Information and Research Secretary of BCL, Buet unit, was not the person he later became when he was in his first year.
He was helpful, with humane qualities. He was never involved in any quarrel with his friends or anyone else, according to his friends.
But then he got introduced to some immoral BCL leaders, who motivated him into doing ugly work in the hall as well as the campus. Within a short time, he began taking drugs and turned rude and violent.
His family members and close friends tried to guide him back to a normal moral life, but failed. At one point, he severed his connections with his family and friends.
The humane boy became inhumane and harsh. Torturing other students was his addiction. He felt good beating up the students.
It was Anik who played the key role in beating Abrar to death.
A friend of Anik, wishing anonymity told The Business Standard that Rasel and Robin contributed to turning Anik Sarker into monster.
The tales of the decline and degradation of students who were once brilliant but subsequently under the influence of bad politics turned into images of violence go on.
Meanwhile, the acting President of Bangladesh Chhatra League Al-Nahian Khan Joy told The Business Standard that the organization does not support any malpractice in the name of BCL on any campus. "We never tolerate any immoral or criminal activities," he said.