Day of joy turns into day of grief
The parents of the beautiful baby girl were just getting prepared to rejoice her first day in this world, but what the parents were not prepared to do was to go through 14 hours of harrowing ordeal with the newborn.
Awlad Hossain's wife had just given birth to their third child at Gulshan's Lake View Clinic on Friday at 4:30 in the afternoon -- hours before gunmen took control of Holey Artisan Bakery, located on the same compound, and took dozens of people hostage.
“Our lives hung by a thread from 8:30pm on Friday till 11:00am yesterday -- nearly for fourteen hours. We did not experience the tumultuous times during the Liberation War of 1971, but being caught in the middle of the standoff has made me realise how dangerous the situation was back then,” observed Awlad.
“We heard gunshots around the time of Sahri and everyone in the cabin took cover underneath the beds,” he said adding that even the newborn had to be put on the floor under the bed for safety.
“My wife, mother-in-law, aunt-in-law and two of my friends were in the cabin when it all started and all of us got down on the floor for our lives,” said Awlad. “A few members of Rapid Action Battalion came to our cabin on Friday night, asking us not to panic and stay inside the cabin. We heard continuous gun shots, bullets banging on the walls and windowpanes getting shattered. We prayed for our lives while lying on the floor.”
Awlad's friends were in the canteen of the hospital while the hostage situation started to unfold in the evening. Soon after hearing gunshots they came running inside the cabin and stayed there till the end of the drama.
All the doors of cabins and the main doors were locked by law enforcing agencies. There were around ten families in the three-storey hospital at the time in the evening and a to-be mother was just taken inside the operation room. The newborn and the mother had to spend the night inside the operation room till the next morning, said Awlad.
“When a commando member on Saturday morning came and informed us that we were safe to come out of our room, we felt like being reborn,” he said while getting ready to go home at Natun Bazar.
Army commandoes brought an end to the situation 12 hours later, rescuing at least 13 people. As many as 20 people were found dead inside. Six attackers were killed and one was captured.