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Death sentence to 20 students

A Bangladeshi court has set an example of disseminating justice by awarding death sentences to 20 students for their roles in the killing of an undergraduate in October 2019. Hours before his killing, Abrar Fahad published a Facebook post that criticised the Sheikh Hasina-led government for making a water-sharing agreement with India.

There are two aspects to this particular case involving the brutal murder of a student by his peers over political differences. First, obviously relates to the justice system as the court has awarded the highest punishment to young culprits so that such a gruesome incident does not happen again. The punishment can act as deterrence against intolerance in society as well as it has become an example of justice in cases of brutal crimes. Similar incidents do happen in neighbouring states like India and Pakistan where opponents exploit the mob psychology and arouse their animal instincts of attacking their fellow beings over minor issues.

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Secondly, the gruesome murder and the punishment handed down to students can serve as eye opener for many minds not only in Bangladesh but in Pakistan too. Our country does enjoy the privilege of having student unions at universities and educational campuses and it is also a fact that they are widely used in politics to undermine opponents. Incidents are reported on a regular basis about deadly quarrels and fighting among students on campuses over minor issues.

So, do you not think that it’s a wakeup call for policy makers and the executive authorities to intervene before the matters become worse? Wisdom demands that awareness needs to be created among the young lot about their political inclinations. They need to be taught how to accept criticism instead of reacting violently. There is a need to inculcate a culture of tolerance and teach students how to behave if a difference of opinion occurs.

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