ABID AZAD

Things that make you to Think

Behind the murder

This story, published at Morning Tea, focuses in-depth of Zubair’s death.

The murder of Zubair Ahmed, a student of Jahangirnagar University (JU), was a terrible incident as well as a crucial one, because it has raised a number of questions in the collective mind of students, teachers and staff of JU. This reporter found this particular clash to be much different than any other disputes that occurred earlier in the campus. Zubair’s friends still cannot believe that he is no more; in fact, they cannot imagine why a well-known figure in JU like him would be murdered.

It was 8 January – last day of the Honour’s final examination. According to sources from the campus, after the last exam, Zubair was asked by some Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists to come with them. He was then last seen leaving the department with his girlfriend at around 4.30pm.

Later, as his friends say, Zubair’s girlfriend received a call in her mobile phone from Enam Medical Hospital at Savar from Zubair’s mobile number. She was told that someone she knew was in the hospital. When some of Zubair’s class and junior friends went to the hospital, they found him in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), critically injured, bleeding from gashes all over his body except his head.

Due to lack of resources in the hospital, the doctor on duty suggested Zubair’s friends to take him to Dhaka for better treatment. They asked JU authorities for help, but all they did was attempt to find an ambulance. Although there was an ambulance in the hospital, they could not take it due to lack of life support facilities in it. They finally managed to move Zubair to United Hospital at Gulshan at around 10pm.

Zubair later died at the United Hospital on 9 January at around 5am. According to sources, he was taken behind the university’s science workshop, where he was beaten mercilessly with pipes, iron rods, etc for a long time. The criminals later took him to the Enam Medical Hospital.

A press release was issued by the university authorities at 1.51 pm on 9 January, which claimed that the university proctorial body had taken initiative to send Zubair to United Hospital from Enam Medical Hospital for his better treatment. The students who were with Zubair at that time said, “We did not get our university ambulance in time. Moreover, the authorities did not pay any hospital bill; it was paid by a relative of his girlfriend.”

“We had to sign a bond that stated that Enam Medical Hospital would not responsible if anything happened to Zubair, which was supposed to be done by the university authorities,” His friends claimed.

Interestingly, the security officer Ajimuddin was informed about the incident at around 8.51pm on 8 January. Although it is well known fact around the campus that Ajim is able to reach any spot at the campus when required, he failed to show up in this case. When asked, he defended himself by saying, “I’m also shocked that I could not reach the place, or that I was not even informed about the incident. For this I was very angry with the campus security guard.”

The police sources informed this reporter that Zubair was taken from the campus to the Enam Medical Hospital by an auto rickshaw after being beaten and was left at the hospital’s gate. However, when the security guards who were on duty that night were asked about it, they claimed they had not seen any injured person brought on a vehicle.

Zubair was taken to and beaten cruelly at a secluded place near TSC and a teacher’s residence. There were several security guards near the spot, except the area behind the science workshop. While talking to them, they said that they did not hear any kind noise or screaming; it did not even seem to them that something out of the ordinary might be happening.

This incident was much different that all the other incidents that have taken place in JU campus in the recent year. Many students and teachers claim that the murder was pre-planned and one or more people played mastermind in it.

It was further learned that on 8 January, Shetu, an Anthropology student, threatened over phone and was asked to meet the caller after exam. Fearing for his life, Shetu contacted Mujibul Anam, a teacher form his department, who ensured that he was safe, sending him away on a teachers’ bus.

Zubair, Shetu and Najmul were all friends and also lived outside campus as they were driven out of their hall by the rival BCL factions. Many more students have also been living outside the campus due to political disputes. Sometimes, some of them cannot enter the campus even for classes and exams

Zubair, Shetu and Najmul, however, managed to attend classes and exams. Later, Zubair was seen roaming around the campus freely in the last six months of his final year in JU. Before, he could not even enter the campus, according to one of his friends.

Zubair’s friends informed this reporter that in his first year in JU, Zubair had beaten up Ashikul Islam, Rashedul Islam and Khan Md Rais in Bangabandhu Hall over a trivial matter. For this, as the police source assumed, Zubair was targeted when Ashik, Rashedul and Rais gained political power. Shetu and Najmul also informed this reporter that they were concerned about their own well-being now.

Till this report was being written, police arrested three BCL activists in connection of the murder, while 10-12 others accused of the murder were still free.

Shahin Parvez, the officer in charge of this investigation, says, “Investigation is going on. Rest of the criminals will be arrested as soon as possible.”

Rashedul Islam Shafin, president of the suspended JU BCL committee, claimed on national television that some ‘criminals’ had beaten up Rashed Reza Dicken, vice-president of the suspended JU BCL committee, along with some of his followers, on 23 May 2010.

It was alleged that the then BCL joint secretary Asgar Ali was responsible for the incident.

Again, according to newspapers, it was claimed that JU proctor Arju Mia was instructed by the VC to go to Bangabandhu Hall to help the Shamim-Sharif group settle in the hall, but was chased away by the rival BCL activists. Later, Shamim-Sharif group was able to take over the hall’s control with the help of police, the newspapers say.

Nirjhar Alam Shammyo, the secretary of the same committee, claimed, “Many students, including Zubair himself, have been living under the risk of being harmed outside the campus. Now, Zubair has been killed only because of this security problem.

“Though he started coming to the campus six months ago, he expressed his concern regarding his own safety to the VC and the proctor for several times, but no one paid heed to his concern. Now they should take responsibility of Zubair’s death,” he added.

Mahboob, another BCL leader who was driven out with Dicken, says, “The beating pattern of Dicken and Zubair seem almost same. Dicken was saved because he was quickly sent to a better hospital in Dhaka, but unfortunately Zubair could not be saved.”

Most of the students and teachers are now demanding judicial investigation as soon as possible. Otherwise, they fear that the actual criminals of Zubair’s murder will be able stay away from the law and the face of the mastermind behind this murder will never be revealed.

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