The outgoing year, 2019, has been a very shocking year for Bangladesh as the nation saw a number of sensational murders that grabbed the international headlines.
Of the tragedies, the killings of Abrar Fahad at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), Rifat Sharif in Barguna and Nusrat Jahan Rafi in Feni jolted the nation’s conscience.
The killing of Taslima Begum Renu in a lynch-mob attack over the rumour of child lifting also shocked the nation.
Buet student Abrar Fahad always stood first in any examination throughout his school and college life which is evident in the results of his SSC and HSC examinations. But the life of such a bright star was cut short brutally at his own university.
Abrar, 21, a second-year student of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of Buet, was found dead on the staircase of Sher-e-Bangla Hall of the university October 7 after some leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) beat him at room-2011 of the dormitory on the night of October 6 suspecting his link to Bangladesh Islami Chhatra Shibir.
The academic activities at Buet remained closed for more than two months as the students went on a movement demanding justice for Abrar. Finally, the Buet authorities expelled 26 students over the murder after police submitted charges in the case.
On November 13, the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) pressed charges against 25 people in the Buet student Abrar Fahad killing case.
Rifat Sharif, 22, was hacked with sharp weapons near the main gate of Barguna Govt College in broad daylight while his wife Minni appeared to be trying to protect him during the attack on June 26 last. He succumbed to his injuries at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College in Barishal.
Later, the video footage of the incident went viral on the social media Facebook shaking the country.
Twenty-four people were accused in the murder case filed by Rifat’s father. The young man’s wife, Minni, who was initially named as a witness, was later arrested on July 16 and made an accused in the case.
Main accused Sabbir Ahmed alias Nayon Bond was killed in a reported gunfight with law enforcers on July 2.
The High Court on August 29 granted bail to Minni on conditions that she would remain in her father’s custody and refrain from talking to the media.
Police on September 1 pressed charges against 24 people, including Minni, in the murder case.
Nusrat Jahan Rafi
Nusrat was set on fire on April 6 last on the rooftop of her madrasa, allegedly by people loyal to its principal SM Sirajuddoula whom she had accused of sexually harassing her.
She succumbed to her injuries four days later at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
A case was filed with Sonagazi Police Station on April 8. Police pressed charges before the court against 16 people on May 29.
On October 24, 16 people, including the Principal of Sonagazi Islamia Fazil Madrasa SM Sirajuddoula, were given death penalty for their roles in murdering the madrasa student.
Taslima Begum Renu
Taslima Begum Renu, mother of two children, was beaten to death over a child-lifting rumour at North Badda in the city on July 20.
The victim went to the area to look for a suitable school for her children when she fell victim to mass beating.
Many witnesses recorded the incident in their mobile phones but no-one tried to rescue her. The video footage went viral on Facebook, triggering widespread outrage.
Thirteen suspects have so far been arrested in a case filed over the lynching.