Victims Recall Horrors of Petrol Bomb Attacks

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Published on November 7, 2022
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“I could not see my son when he breathed his last, I could not even see his body,” said one victim Renu Begum at an event in Dhaka.

Victims of the petrol bomb attacks which were carried out during the anti-government movements in 2013-15 shared their experience of terror, agony and loss with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 6 November 2022. 

At an event organised by the Awami League at the National Museum in the capital's Shahbagh area, family members of the slain victims and survivors got an opportunity to tell their stories and demand justice directly from the premier.

Addressing the programme, PM Sheikh Hasina, strongly condemned the violence and arson attacks led by the BNP-Jamaat alliance and expressed profound sorrow and empathy for the victims.

The prime minister said, "Arson terror is a crime against humanity. Cases have been filed against those who were involved in such subversive acts and trials are ongoing. Even those who ordered the attacks will be brought to justice."

Some of the accounts shared by the victims during the event are as follows:

Runi Begum mother of 17-year-old Nahid who died in a petrol bomb attack during an anti-government movement in Dhaka.

A 17-year-old Nahid died in a petrol bomb attack during an anti-government movement in Dhaka. His mother said, "My name is Renu Begum from Shibchar, Madaripur. PM Hasina, he [Nahid] was burnt to death in a BNP-Jamaat petrol bomb attack on his way to Dhaka."

"I could not even see him when he breathed his last. He was not taken to the hospital. I could not see his body. I fell severely ill soon after the incident. Now I cannot see or hear properly. I am yet to receive justice for my child, PM Hasina. You are like my mother [PM Hasina], I want you to ensure justice for my child," Renu Begum added.

Rafiqul Islam, a truck driver who was injured in Dinajpur in a petrol bomb attack during an anti-government movement.

Rafiqul Islam, a truck driver who was injured in a petrol bomb attack in Dinajpur, said, "I am just a meagre driver. I was out with my truck to provide for my children. I was attacked with petrol bombs hurled by BNP-Jamaat men."

"Jamaat-e-Islami comes from Pakistan's 'Hanadar Bahini'. I want stern punishment for those who attacked me and seek blessings of the prime minister for my children," he said.

Maya Begum, widow of slain police constable Jakaria, who was beaten to death by BNP men.

Maya Begum, the widow of a police constable Jakaria who was beaten to death by BNP men, said, "My husband used to work in Gopalganj. He was killed by BNP-Jamaat men on his way to Dhaka's Kanchpur for police duty."

"I want those responsible to be punished. I have a son, I demand that PM Hasina does something for him and for my medical treatment," Maya Begum said.

Abu Sayeed Tamanna, a photojournalist from Chattogram, was tortured by BNP men for taking photos of their atrocities.

"Abu Sayeed Tamanna, a photojournalist from Chattogram who was tortured by BNP men for taking photos of their atrocities, said, "I was taking photos from a distance. They [BNP men] were distributing petrol bombs among themselves. I got chased and then attacked with knives. My head was smashed with bricks. I may look normal, but I am still recovering from that attack."

"Hurting people in the name of politics is not acceptable. We all fear for our lives," Tamanna added.

Antu Barua, a student, was attacked on her way to coaching classes. Has been suffering from bad eyesight ever since.

Antu Barua, a student who was attacked on her way to coaching classes and has been suffering from bad eyesight ever since, said, "On 28 March 2013, I was injured in a petrol bomb attack. My eyes got damaged in the incident. I have a question to ask – What was the fault of children like me?"

Another man named Salauddin Bhuiyan, who sustained severe injuries, mainly in his face, in a petrol bomb attack, said, "I am very happy to see PM Hasina here today. She went to see me at the hospital where I was treated after the attack back in 2013. I had a nice face once but everything changed after the attack. I have been socially excluded."

Salauddin Bhuiyan, was seriously injured, mainly his face, in a petrol bomb attack during an anti-government movement.

"I have two sons, a daughter, a wife and an old mother to look after. It has been very difficult to provide for them over the past years," Salauddin said.

Courtesy: The Bisuness Standard