03/07/2013 9:12 03/07/2013 7:02
A third-year student of mechanical engineering and BUET unit Chhatra League convening committee member, Arif Raihan Dip, died at about 4:00am in Square Hospitals in the capital on the 3rd of July 2013. He had been unconscious since he had been stabbed him in his room at the Kabi Nazrul Islam Hall on April 9. He was sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital in a critical condition and was later was moved to Square Hospitals.
The media spin:
This is how the media described Dip’s attack-
1. Newage says, “An unnamed man had stabbed him in his room at the Kabi Nazrul Islam Hall on April 9.”
2. Daily Star says, “An unidentified man dragged Dwip down the hall’s stairs and stabbed him indiscriminately on April 9.”
3. Bdnews, in a more dramatic tone, claims, “Finally the miscreants attacked Dip in his dormitory on Apr 9 and left him severely wounded in his head and back.”
4. In the most dramatic tone, mixing unverifiable witness accounts into the factual description, the Dhaka Tribune claims, “According to witnesses, four youths hacked Dwip in his room, located in the Kobi Nazrul Islam Hall, using sharp weapons at around 11am on April 9.”
All media were unanimous in planning the seed of doubt, when they quoted Chatra League leaders pinning the blame on usual suspects. The Dhaka Tribune deserves credit for being the most (mis)informative when it says, “Although the assailants could not be recognised, Arif’s friends said they suspect members of Islami Chhatra Shibir or Hefazat-e-Islam of being responsible.”
New Age reports that Raihan is said to have been attacked as he along with some other students stopped an imam of a hall mosque providing Hefazat-e-Islam activists with food during their long march to Dhaka on April 5. The imam, Abdul Alim, was suspended immediately as the students informed the university’s student welfare director Delwar Hossain of the matter.
Bdnews starts playing around with the motive when it states, “ The assault followed hearsay that he along with some other students had barred an imam of one of the hall mosques from supplying food to Hifazat-e Islam activists during their long march to Dhaka on Apr 6. Later, the Imam, Abdul Alim was suspended.”
Other media did not care to report on the matter.
A past history of violence:
Although ‘progressive’ news media did not hesitate to identify Dip as being some sort of a hero, his documented past is not so rosy. This was the same Dip who was suspended for being involved in attacks on general students just about a year ago. As reported by bdnews, following a dispute on Dec 28 2011, between the senior and junior batches over entering a concert organised for the rag day of the outgoing batch, 2008 batch students Saifullah Sikder Mithun and Sujit Saha of the Material and Metallurgical Department and 2009 batch student Arif Raihan Dip of the Mechanical Engineering Department. on Dec 31 2011, beat Tousif Ahmed Ishan, a final-year student of the Computer Science and Engineering Department with hockey sticks and iron rods in his room in the Kazi Nazrul Islam Hall, leaving him with severe injuries in his both hands and legs. BUET unit Chhatra League general secretary Tonmoy Ahmed had said though the three accused were his fellow party activists, his party was not involved in the attack. They would be expelled from the party, he had added. BUET students organised protests on the campus to demand that authorities permanently expel the three students who are accused of beating Ishan.
Not only was Dip reinstated into the university within a short period of time, he was also reinstated into the Chatra League itself and was a Chhatra League convening committee member on the eve of his attack on the imam.
The Detective Branch arrested fourth-year civil engineering student Md Mezbah Uddin on April 18 at the campus in this connection. The police said that Mezbah had confessed to attacking Raihan in the hall. Mezbah is reported to have told investigators that Raihan had beaten the BUET mosque imam for providing Hefazat activists with food on April 5. However, NO connections to Hefazat OR Bangladesh Islami Chatra shibir have been even remotely suggested by police or proved by anyone.
The supposed ‘confession’ of Mezbah is also subject to controversy in the current climate of fear stemming from a plethora of well documented police excesses in Bangladesh. Add to this the fact that the Lalbagh police seized a bag containing a machete, a pair of pajamas, a panjabi and a cap from the Kobi Nazrul Hall and you get the idea as to where we are all headed to.
Shahbag plays cheap politics:
Dhaka Tribune and New Age reported that Shahbagh protesters, meanwhile, held protests in the Shahbagh crossing on Tuesday evening demanding an immediate arrest of the attackers, blaming Shibir and Hefazat activists for the attack. They were led by Convener of the Ganajagaran Mancha, Imran H Sarkar and coordinator Maruf Rasul. The protesters from the programme accused Hefazat-e-Islam of making the attack on Dwip that took his life. This of course seriously raises concerns as to whether Shahbag really has turned into a haven for anti-Islamic hatred and partisan politics (the Chatra League is and a driving force at Shahbag and it is the student.body of the ruling Awami League.)
So the question remains, is the death of a well known miscreant going to be just another manufactured scenario to further fuel the Islamophobic narrative actively sponsored by the government of Bangladesh?
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