25 charged over brutal killing of Bangladesh student

Representative Image. Photograph:( ANI )

Reuters Dhaka, Bangladesh Nov 13, 2019, 09.22 PM (IST)

Some 25 people, many members of Bangladesh's ruling Awami League party, were charged with murder Wednesday over the brutal killing last month of a university student who criticised the government on social media.

The battered body of 21-year-old Abrar Fahad was found in his dormitory hours after he wrote a post on Facebook slamming Dhaka for signing a water-sharing deal with India.

Police said he was beaten to death by fellow students -- many members of the ruling Awami League's university branch. Others had links to the pro-government Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

"Murder charges have been pressed to the court against 25 men," police spokesman Monirul Islam told AFP.

"According to the CCTV footage, at least 11 were directly involved in beating Fahad to death."

He said the accused had created an "environment of fear" on campus, with physical abuse and other coercive behaviours.

"They were using their political identity as shelter," he said, referring to their links to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's party. 

Fahad's death sparked widespread protests among students in the country, prompting Hasina to promise his killers would be severely punished.

Story highlights

The battered body of 21-year-old Abrar Fahad was found in his dormitory hours after he wrote a post on Facebook slamming Dhaka for signing a water-sharing deal with India.