The grisly murder of Abrar Fahad, a second-year student of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), was a pre-planned one, two accused Ifti Mosharraf Sakal and Meftahul Islam Zion confessed to a Dhaka court.
The plan of the murder was charted out in a secret messenger group of the Sher-e-Bangla Hall Chhatra League after Mehedi Hasan Robein, the expelled organising secretary of the Buet Chhatra League, on October 4 instructed his companions to "catch" Abrar over his alleged affiliation with Shibir.
Sakal and Zion are the first two among the 18 accused in the case until Friday, who confessed their roles in Abrar murder to the court.
Both of them admitted that Abrar Fahad was mercilessly beaten to death with cricket stumps and plastic rope (skipping rope).
Sakal, in his confessional statement, gave the court a description of the heinous murder carried out with his active participation in his room, the infamous room no 2011 of the hall, sources said.
Zion told the court that Mehedi Hasan Rasel, general secretary of the Buet Chhatra League, Anik Sarker, information and research secretary, Amit Saha, deputy law secretary, Ifti Mosharraf Sakal, deputy social service secretary, and Mehedi Hasan Robein were directly involved in the killing of Abrar.
He claimed he was not directly involved in the killing. He was only aware of the fact that Abrar would be beaten a bit and transferred to some other room.
According to Zion, Mehedi Hasan Rasel tried to conceal the reason of Abrar's death from the university administration and the police. He also contacted some higher officials of the Buet and top Awami League and Chhatra League leaders.
What Sakal said in his confessional statement
Sakal said to the court that, to execute the murder plan, Mehedi Hasan Robein mentioned some Chhatra League members in the group and wrote, "We have to catch Abrar; he has affiliation with the Shibir."
Amit Saha gave a reply to Robein's call and said, "We have to wait until he returns [to the hall] from his [Kushtia] home."
When Abrar came back to the hall on October 6, he was called up to room no 2011 sometime after 8pm according to the plan, Sakal told the court.
Chhatra League members also brought Abrar's laptop and two mobile phones to that room. Buet Chhatra League's deputy office secretary and Abrar's roommate Muztaba Rafid Fuad and Khandoker Tabakkharul Islam Tanvir of the mechanical engineering department checked Abrar's mobile phones.
Muntasir Al Zemi, another student from the same department, examined Abrar's laptop with the password forcefully obtained from Abrar.
In his statement, Sakal said that, during that time, Mehedi Hasan Robein and Meftahul Islam Zion entered the room and asked Abrar about his affiliation with the Shibir, the student front of Jamaat-e-Islami – a political party that worked against Bangladesh's liberation in 1971.
They asked Abrar about others whom he was "involved with" and, at one point, Mehedi slapped on Abrar's face several times.
Sakal told the court that there was no cricket stump in the room. Someone brought it in from outside, and Samsul Arafat Rafat, a second-year student of the mechanical engineering department, handed it over to Sakal.
Sakal hit Abrar with the stump four to five times. As a result, the stump was broken.
But Anik Sarker carried on hitting Abrar mercilessly with his stump on Abrar's knees, feet and arms.
Meanwhile, Mehedi Hasan Robein called the Buet Chhatra League's general secretary Mehedi Hasan Rasel.
Sakal also said to the court that he had gone to have his dinner at the hall canteen around 10:30pm. Around 30 minutes later, he returned to the room and found that Abrar was already sick and lying down on the floor.
Sakal scolded Abrar, stood him up and slapped him again. At that time, Muzahidur Rahman, a third-year student of the electrical and electronic engineering department, hit Abrar with the skipping rope. Sakal joined him and hit Abrar with the stump on his knees and feet. Tabakkharul also slapped Abrar several times.
Anik Sarker entered the scene
Sakal confessed to the court that, after about two and a half hours around 11pm, Anik Sarker came to the room and started beating Abrar with all force for more than one hundred times.
Anik seemed furious to Abrar at that time, and he behaved like a demon which scared all others in the room.
After beating Abrar continuously for about one and a half hours, Anik left the room around 12:30am.
Abrar's health deteriorated
Sakal also told the court that Abrar was lying down on the floor and his condition was deteriorating. He was suffering from breathing problem.
Then, Sakal put two pillows under Abrar's head, but after sometime Abrar vomited up.
Sakal informed Anik Sarker about it over his cell phone, and he instructed Sakal to give Abrar a shower and apply ointment to his hands and legs.
Then, Abrar vomited up for the second time. A few members went to Abrar's room and brought a fresh set of t-shirt and trouser for him. Mehedi said Abrar was feigning sick.
After that, Abrar was taken to room no 2005 where he had been laid down.
Amit Saha ordered cohorts to beat Abrar further and push out of hall
Amit Saha, at that time, sent them a text message to know about Abrar's state and again instructed them to beat him again to dig out more information and get him out of the hall.
When Sakal and others informed Anik that Abrar's condition was bad, Amit instructed them to get him out of the hall instantly.
A few minutes later, Mehedi and Anik came to room no 2005, and after seeing Abrar, they said "He [Abrar] is okay". Afterwards, they left the room.
Sakal also told the court that Abrar, at that point, vomited up for the third time. Mehedi then instructed them to hand him over to the police.
Some students of the 17th batch tried to bring Abrar down to the ground floor. When they failed, they left Abrar along with the bed at place on the staircase in between the first and the ground floors.
Then all was over
At that time, Abrar murmured to them that he was feeling worse. The Buet Chhatra League general secretary Rasel was talking to the police at the entrance gate of the hall. At that point, Muntasir ran towards the gate and told Rasel that Abrar's body was getting cold. Sakal asked him to give Abrar a massage.
By this time, Ismail and Monir called the ambulance. As it was delaying, Tamim brought in the Buet's medical officer, but then the ambulance, too, arrived at the hall gate.
The medical officer inspected Abrar and declared him dead. Sakal then went back to his room for sleeping from where the police arrested him, Sakal said to the court.