Kazi Noor Uddin, the father of Fardin Noor Parash, believes media reports painting the BUET student as a drug user are hindering the investigation into his murder.
"My son wasn't even a smoker. He couldn't tolerate the smoke from a cigarette. Addiction to Phensedyl is out of the question. The doctor didn't mention anything about drugs in the autopsy," he said on Monday.
Noor Uddin joined a demonstration by BUET students at the Central Shaheed Minar as they demanded the swift identification and arrest of Fardin's killers.
Fardin went missing on Nov 4 before his body was found floating in the Shitalakkhya River in Narayanganj three days later. A week on, police are yet to make any notable breakthrough in the case.
In the meantime, some media reports fuelled speculations surrounding his death by suggesting that Fardin was addicted to the banned cough syrup Phensedyl and was beaten to death by drug dealers.
The reports have demoralised those who stood by the family in their quest for justice, according to Noor Uddin.
After conducting an autopsy on Fardin's body, forensics experts said that they found evidence that he was murdered. His mobile phone, wallet and watch were all found with him.
Highlighting the injury marks present on Fardin's body, Noor Uddin also raised questions about the manner of his death. "I heard that a group of six or seven people beat him to death. That would have left marks throughout his body from head to toe. But there were only signs of severe injuries to his head and chest. It means those areas were targeted."
Fardin, a third-year civil engineering student at BUET, lived with his family in Demra's Konapara. On Nov 4, he told his mother that he was going to study with his friends for an exam and that he would come back home the next day.
After his body was recovered on Nov 7, Noor Uddin filed a murder case with Rampura Police Station against his son's friend Amatullah Bushra, accusing her of 'instigating' Fardin's killing. Police later arrested Bushra and were granted five days to question her in custody.
Explaining why he named Bushra in the case, Noor Uddin said, "I identified Bushra as the last person he [Fardin] was with. I have three children. They never go beyond the parameters set by their mother. He left home to join a study group at BUET. He was supposed to come back home after taking the exam the next day."
"My question is, why did my child leave the house and go to see Bushra? When did she become so important that he had to spend so much time with her? No one in my family knew who Bushra was. He had an exam the next day. My child wasn't supposed to be with her till 10 pm.”
Noor Uddin also hoped that law enforcement would handle the investigation responsibly. "This was a premeditated murder. Cracking such a case isn't an easy task. I'm placing my trust in our law enforcement agencies. I don't want my faith to be misplaced. It may take them some time to identify the real culprit so I'm not disheartened."
BUET students also called on law enforcement agencies to attach utmost importance to the case and bring those involved to book as soon as possible.
“We are and will remain with Fardin's family until a fair investigation into the killings is carried out and the real killers are brought to justice," they said in a statement.