When Liyana Tripura Poppy moved to Dhaka four years ago, she must have had dreams of a better future for herself and her family. Like hundreds of thousands who come to the capital every year, leaving their family, she must have toiled hard to find ground beneath her feet. With her earnings from working at a beauty salon, she was supporting her brother’s education.
And then, on the fateful morning of October 18, all her and her family’s dreams were crushed under the wheels of a car, reportedly driven by an underage driver.
The incident happened on Road 79 in Gulshan-2, a diplomatic zone and one of the most high-profile areas of the capital.
Footage from a nearby CCTV camera shows the rickshaw carrying Poppy and colleague being hit at high speed on an intersection, and the car speeding away over her body.
Liyana’s younger brother Joyonto Tripura filed a case at Gulshan Police Station over the incident.
Sub-inspector of the police station Rabiul Haque, also investigation officer of the case, said Liyana and her colleague Srabanti Tripura were on their way to their workplace from Kalachandpur when the accident occurred at 10:40am.
“Both sustained critical injuries and were rushed to a private hospital. Liyana was declared dead upon arrival,” he said. SI Rabiul said Liyana’s body was later taken to the Dhaka Medical College morgue for autopsy, while Srabanti was admitted to United Hospital.
The police official said they identified the car through CCTV footage, and arrested the driver on October 21.
He said the arrestee is an O-level student, and is not old enough to have a driving license. The 17-year-old was sent to the Gazipur Juvenile Correction Center through court, Rabiul added.
Joyonto, a student of Dhaka University, told The Daily Star that they had moved to the capital four years ago in search of a better life. “My sister was bearing my educational expenditure. I don’t know what I will do now,” said Joyonto.
He said they want highest punishment of the culprit and due compensation.
“We are unsure of getting justice, as the arrestee was sent to the juvenile court, although we think his age could be over 18 years,” he said.
SI Rabiul, however, said they will consider an age determination test, if family members of the victim appeal for it.
Students of several universities and colleges formed a human chain in front of Jatiya Press Club on October 26, demanding highest punishment of the driver.