â€œChhatra League activistsâ€ beat and hack a youth named Bishwajit, mistaking him for an opposition supporter. The photo was taken in front of Victoria Park in Old Dhaka yesterday. Bishwajit died of his injuries later. Right, mourning relatives of the deceased. Photo: STAR
An ardent fan of cricket, Bishwajit Das watched the Bangladesh-West Indies match at a shop next to his tailoring house on Saturday. To celebrate the Bangladesh win, he then partied with his friends at his shop late that night. Little did he know it would be his last celebration.
Yesterday, the 24-year-old was killed in an attack by a group of Bangladesh Chhatra League activists, who took him for a pro-blockade activist, witnesses said.
A group of 10-12, swooped on him near Bahadur Shah Park in Old Dhaka around 8:30am on his way to work. They beat him with sticks and iron rods and hacked him with sharp weapons. Bishwajit died after he was taken to Mitford Hospital for treatment.
According to dozens of eyewitnesses, the attackers are BCL activists of Jagannath University (JnU), but the university unit dismissed the claim.
It all began around 8:30am when a group of pro-opposition lawyers brought out a procession, marching towards Bahadur Shah Park in support of the opposition-called blockade.
A group of BCL activists of JnU attacked the procession and beat up some lawyers, witnesses said. In a few minutes, a sound of an explosion was heard nearby and the BCL men started chasing pedestrians.
Bishwajit, who was also among the pedestrians, ran for life and got into a nearby building, said Ripon Sarder, a rickshaw puller who took him to the hospital.
"They [the attackers] were beating him even as he was running for life," Ripon added.
According to family members, Bishwajit was not involved with any political party. Originally from Shariatpur, he used to live with his elder brother at Hrishikesh Das Lane at Sutrapur.
"He used to go to his shop and come home from there, and he was not involved in anything else. He was fond of cricket," said Rocky Das, a cousin of Bishwajit.
Family members also criticised the hospital authority for its negligence in treating him. But the hospital authorities dismissed the allegation. They said the victim died of excessive bleeding.
Babul Sur, owner of the market at Shakhari Bazar where Bishwajit's shop was, said Bishwajit used to run the shop all by himself.
"Generally he used to keep his shop open from 10:30am to 10:00pm, six days a week. On Fridays he kept it open till 2:00pm and then played cricket with children on the roof of the market and streets," he said.
'NO KILLING LINK'
Sirajul Islam Siraj, general secretary of the BCL unit at JnU, denied that anyone from the unit was involved in the killing.
Talking to The Daily Star, he said his unit brought out a procession yesterday to celebrate the Bangladesh win against the West Indies.
Siraj also claimed he heard that activists of Chhatra Dal and Chhatra Shibir killed Bishwajit to shift the blame on BCL.