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Why Buet students are resisting student politics

April 1, 2024

DHAKA – In the early morning of October 7, 2019, the dead body of Abrar Fahad, an undergraduate student at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), was found lying on the ground floor of Sher-e-Bangla Residential Hall. The sight of a student beaten to death in his own university shook the nation. However, the outrage of Buet’s general students resulted in something long overdue: the end of student politics.

Since the murderers were members of the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), regular students demanded a permanent ban on student politics on campus. Although the demand came after the death of a student, the constant physical and mental torture by politically active students, conducted in the name of ragging, had gone on at the university for years. For instance, the news of a first-year student suffering injury in his eardrums made headlines the same year Abrar Fahad was murdered. Multiple other incidents of students getting beaten up by seniors were reported over the years, but no visible action was taken to stop this heinous culture of ragging. First-year students would usually be taken to a room in groups and humiliated by the seniors. Some of them would face severe beatings by cricket stumps, sticks, etc. While some of these incidents were reported to the authorities, fear of repercussions and the authorities’ inability to respond accordingly resulted in most of them not being reported.

The residential halls were virtually run by these politically active students. Starting from room allocation to hall dining facilities, the politically active students were the ones making the calls. Staying in the dormitory was a living nightmare for every fresher, having to live in constant fear of