His great escape act | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 28, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 28, 2009

His great escape act

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Smearing the blood of an unfortunate officer on his face and playing dead, Major Monir cheated almost certain death when BDR jawans were on a killing spree in Darbar Hall at Pilkhana Wednesday.
He said minutes after the shooting started a number of mutineers spotted him and Major Maksud inside the washroom of Darbar Hall where they were hiding. The BDR mutineers started firing at them from outside the closed door of the washroom and Maksud was hit several times.
"As blood gushing out of Maksud sir's body flooded the floor, I took it in my hands, stained my face with it and pretended dead," Monir told The Daily Star late Thursday night.
He said he had cut his forehead with a piece of shattered glass in his desperate attempt to make them believe that he was dead. As the blood coming out of his forehead was not enough, he took the blood of Major Maksud.
The men came in later and then left seeing the blood-spattered bodies and believing Monir and Maksud were dead.
He said, "Realising that the place was not safe, I then hid myself in a drain and covered myself with a floor mat. To do this, I had to break the windowpane of the washroom to escape.
"I watched helplessly as jawans killed officers around me… one of the officers being shot fell on me when I was in the drain," he said.
"Realising that this place was not safe as well, I went inside the Darbar Hall again and hid inside the false ceiling for almost two days. I texted my wife several times from there but kept my phone off.
"I heard a jawan boasting before another jawan that he had killed 15 officers," he said.
Major Monir is one of the few lucky officers who made it back to their families.
Major Firoz was also one of the lucky few. He, his pregnant wife and his two-year-old son survived the two-day ordeal.
When BDR jawans started shooting, Firoz crawled out of Darbar Hall in Pilkhana. "I managed to take shelter next to a wall of a school inside the BDR headquarters. I found Major Towfiq there. We managed to dodge death hiding inside the room of a flat there," he said.
"The BDR jawans let my eight-month pregnant wife go as she was experiencing pain," he said.
She started walking with her son, who was traumatised by the deafening sounds of gunshots, grenades and choppers flying overhead, towards Kamrangirchar but she fell unconscious on the way, said Firoz breaking down in tears.
Locals rescued her Thursday and informed Firoz's elder brother.
The son has become speechless.
Hasan Mahmud Rupom, brother of missing Major Mostaq Mahmud, said,
"I heard that bodies of some officers were retrieved in the afternoon at the BDR headquarters but I am not sure whether my brother is among them."
He described the ordeal of Major Mustaq's triplets, aged around 10, and the son of a relative, of about the same age, who were inside Mustaq's quarters when the mutiny broke out.
"My brother went to Darbar Hall in the morning while his wife, a doctor, went out before the mutiny began," Rupom said.
He said they finally found the traumatised children inside the quarters Thursday afternoon.

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