Abrar Fahad: Killing of Bangladeshi student sparks protests

Police believe undergraduate was murdered by ruling party activists

epa07903393 Dhaka University students take part in a protest after a fellow student was found dead, at Dhaka University campus in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 07 October 2019. According to the local media report, second year student of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) Abrar Fahad was found after reportedly beaten to death in front of Sher-eBangla hall at Dhaka University.  EPA/MONIRUL ALAM
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Students in Bangladesh protested and blocked major roads on Monday after an undergraduate was beaten to death, allegedly by activists in the student wing of the ruling Awami League party, for criticising the government over a water-sharing deal with India.

Demonstrations broke out at universities in Dhaka and the northern city of Rajshahi after the killing of Abrar Fahad, 21, of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, one of the country’s most prestigious universities.

Students and teachers chanted slogans demanding "justice" and blocked major roads in the two cities.

The government has promised to bring those responsible for Fahad's death to justice.

Dhaka deputy police commissioner Munstasirul Islam told AFP that Fahad was beaten to death and ruling party activists had been taken into custody for questioning.

His body was found in his university dormitory, where residents said members of Awami's student branch had interrogated and beaten him.

After examining security camera footage, police detained nine men from the same dorm, at least five of whom were Bangladesh Chhatra League activists, local police chief Sohrab Hossain said.

Mr Hossain said the victim's father had filed a murder case.

Fahad put up a Facebook post that was widely shared hours before his death. In it, he criticised the government for signing an accord that allowed India to take water from a river on the border of the two countries.

On Saturday, Dhaka and New Delhi signed several agreements, including one that allowed India to withdraw 185,532 litres an hour of water from Feni River.

The agreements were signed Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India.

The Awami student wing has earned notoriety in recent years after some of its members were accused of killing, violence and extortion.

Last year its members were accused of using violence to suppress a major anti-government student protest.