Abrar Fahad, 21 - a student at the prestigious Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology (BUET) was allegedly killed over a Facebook post which criticized the government’s water-sharing agreement with India.
During the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Saturday, India signed agreements that will allow India to withdraw 1.82 cusecs (185,532 liters per hour) of water from the Feni river.
Both countries have struggled to sign a deal on water sharing for decades. Many rivers are shared between them but a previous deal regarding river Ganges received widespread criticism as it seemed Bangladesh favored India.
"He was killed because of some of his Facebook posts. That is insane," said one of Abrar's classmates, who preferred to be unnamed. "The goons of Chhatra League (the student wing of the ruling Awami League party) killed him. We want justice.”
Barkat Ullah, 57, Fahad's father said, “My son was just an innocent student. He had his own strong opinions and he was killed for that."
Fahad's cousin Abu Talha Rasel, 31, said it "was pretty evident who had killed Fahad".
The autopsy report by the Dhaka Medical College Hospital said that Fahad died of "internal bleeding and excessive pain" due to being beaten up by blunt objects.
Nine BUET students associated with the ruling party were detained by the police for their connection with the murder.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Abdul Baten said that they were taken in custody after identified based on security camera footage.
The Chhatra League workers picked up Fahad from his room on suspicion that he was an activist of another political organization which is associated with the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), admitted the assistant secretary of the BUET unit of Chhatra League.
They interrogated him regarding his “association” with the other party. His body was later found in the student accommodation.
"I went to the hall and saw the body near the stairs. By then he was dead. There were injury marks all over his body,” said BUET's residential physician Dr. Mashuk Elahi. He was called by the students at 3 am local time.