12:00 AM, March 18, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 18, 2011

Bangladeshi claimed dead is alive

Family trashes Bahrain police claim; normalcy returning

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Porimol Palma

Revising its earlier statement, Bangladesh embassy in Bahrain said only one Bangladeshi, not two, was killed when demonstrators drove a truck over them in Sitra area of Manama Tuesday.
Bangladesh embassy first secretary Muhammad Ibrahim yesterday evening said Bahrain police earlier reported Abdul Hannan was killed in that incident. But, yesterday it was confirmed that Hannan was actually in hospital with critical head injuries.
Mohammad Ekhlas' body is in the morgue of Salmaniya Hospital in Manama. The Bangladesh mission could not send home the body, as the hospital was first controlled by the demonstrators and then by the military.
The military is not allowing anyone to enter the hospital on security grounds, Muhammad Ibrahim said.
Meanwhile, normalcy is returning among the Bangladeshi community in Bahrain after attacks on South Asians since Sunday.
The situation improves with the declaration of curfew and military crackdown since Tuesday following a series of demonstrations demanding political reforms in Bahrain where around 1.5 lakh Bangladeshis work.
"Until Wednesday, some families complained they could not buy water and baby milk, as shops were closed for the last few days. But the shops started opening yesterday," said Muhammad Ibrahim.
Restaurants and groceries owned by the Bangladeshis have started reopening. So there is now no problem in buying food, he told The Daily Star yesterday afternoon.
Last Sunday, demonstrators attacked Asian people, mainly Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, in Old Manama when one Pakistani was killed and twenty Bangladeshis were injured. Eighteen Bangladeshis were released from hospital, while two are still receiving treatment.
The protesters in Bahrain were attacking the workers from the Indian sub-continent on the perception that they were occupying Bahrain people's jobs there, he said.
Ibrahim said the situation did not go to that level that the embassy would suggest them to leave. The embassy had earlier held meetings with the Bangladeshi community and suggested that they buy extra food and remain indoors.
"Now things are improving," he said, adding that a Bangladeshi family in Old Manama had been asking the embassy to relocate them, having a feeling of insecurity.
That family yesterday said they were all right, as the demonstrators were no more in that area, Ibrahim said, adding, "Except for some pockets, there is no anti-government demonstration now."
In the wake of such events in Manama, Pakistanis were being relocated. They are gathering at the Pakistan Club where more than 300 people took shelter, reported the Gulf Daily News yesterday.
The Philippines government was planning to send a team to Bahrain yesterday to assess the situation and strengthen its contingency measures should there be a need to evacuate its nationals.
While some western people are leaving, many are opting to wait and see, the newspaper reported.

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