Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said directives would be given to conduct searches at all educational institutions and dormitories to arrest goons to stop the recurrence of incidents like the murder of Buet student Abrar Fahad.
It is unacceptable that students would indulge in hooliganism while staying at dormitories run with public money, she noted.
The PM also assured that the maximum punishment would be meted out to those involved in the brutal killing of Abrar.
Hasina said she considers offenders as offenders irrespective of their political identity.
“When someone commits a crime, I don’t care which party he or she belongs to … the offender must be punished.
“I don’t care who belongs to Chhatra League or Chhatra Dal. I’m taking into consideration the offence of beating a 21-year-old boy to death. It’s an inhuman act.”
The PM was addressing a press conference at the Gono Bhaban about the outcome of her recent official visits to the USA and India, reports UNB.
She further said, “What’s the reason behind the brutal act of picking up and beating such a brilliant student [Abrar]? We’re taking action against them [the perpetrators]. The highest punishment will be given to them and there’s no doubt about it.”
Abrar, a second-year student of electrical and electronic engineering department of Buet and a resident of Sher-e-Bangla Hall, was brutally beaten to death allegedly by some Chhatra League men at a university dormitory between 7:30pm Sunday and 2:30am Monday.
Replying to a query, she ruled out the call for banning student politics.
“I myself emerged [as a leader] through student politics, why should I talk about banning student politics?”
The PM, however, said if the Buet authorities want to do so, they can. “They have a Syndicate and a committee. They can do it. We won’t interfere in it.”
She also said this is an autocratic attitude that student politics should be completely banned.
The PM also questioned the justification of the student movement when the government is taking action against the offenders.
“Why is this movement? The trial [of the offenders] must be held. It’s necessary to feel the pain of a mother or a father who lost their children. I understand it … I lost my father, mother and brothers,” Hasina said.
The PM mentioned that after learning about the incident, she asked police to immediately collect CCTV footage and evidence from the spot.
It is regrettable that policemen were obstructed by students when they were returning with the hard disk containing the CCTV footage, she said.
“The IGP informed me that police members were not being allowed to come out with the evidence and footage.”
Hasina said students obstructed police not because they were taking the CCTV footage but in fear that they would destroy the evidence. But police took steps for proper autopsy of the body, collected evidence and arrested those involved in the incident from different rooms of the Buet hall.
“My question is why police were obstructed from collecting the evidence? .... they [police] later collected the footage and gave a copy of it to the authorities. Now police are identifying the offenders by examining the footage.”
The PM said it is necessary to find out the reason for obstructing police as three hours were lost because of it.
Mentioning that Abrar suffered internal injuries, not many external ones, she recalled that many Awami League leaders were killed in similar manner after 2001.
Hasina said she immediately instructed Chhatra League leaders to expel all those involved in the murder. “I also instructed police to arrest them. We had taken steps before students took to the streets.”
Referring to her India visit, the PM said the AL government always protects the country’s interest, reports BSS.
She pointed out that the volume of water India would get from the Feni river is insignificant and meant only for drinking.
“We always protect our interest in all fields… the stretch of the river [Feni] from where India will take water is a catchment area and it belongs to Bangladesh. That is why we signed an MoU with India,” she said.
She said her government has already discussed with India the water-sharing of the Monu, Mohuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar rivers, and steps are being taken in this regard.
“Besides, discussion is going on over the water-sharing of the Teesta river.”
She also mentioned that the source of the Feni river is in Khagrachhari and about 94km-stretch of the river is along the Indian border.
Hasina said the scarcity of drinking water is acute in Tripura’s Sabroom town, and the MoU was signed with India to give it 1.82 cusec water.
“The volume of water we will give to India is very insignificant and we will use most of the water of this big river.
“If anyone wants water for drinking purposes, and if we don’t give that, it doesn’t look good,” said Hasina.
Taking a swipe at BNP leaders for criticising the Feni river deal, she said Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda Zia during their visits to India could not strike any deal on the water-sharing of the Ganges river.
“When the media asked Khaleda Zia about the issue of Ganges water-sharing upon her return [from India], Khaleda Zia said she forgot to raise the issue during her visit to India,” said Hasina.
“How could the party [BNP] talk about the issue of Feni river when it forgot to protect the country’s interest and realise the rightful demand for water of a big river like the Ganges?”
Turning to the recent deal for exporting LPG to India, the PM said she can never ever compromise the country’s interest and everyone should know that.
“We always put our country’s interest first and there is nothing to raise question about this. We import LPG in bulk, then we bottle it and supply throughout the country as per our demand. We will export part of the excess LPG to Tripura of India.”
She mentioned that a new LPG item would be added to the country’s export basket as there would be a value addition after importing the LPG item in bulk.
Hasina also recalled the role of the people and the government of Tripura during Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971.