Abir Ahmed spent Sunday night in a state of restless elation, eagerly anticipating the next morning’s farewell programme for him and his fellow SSC examinees.
Clad in a panjabi and jeans, he reached Wari High School well before the programme began and, with some time on his hands, the 15-year-old ventured out of school premises along with a friend to have some beverages.
He, however, was never able to return to the farewell programme as an instance of reckless driving brought about the most permanent parting. A Wasa water tanker ran him over at noon near his school, where celebrations were swiftly transformed to tears.
“My son was supposed to get his [SSC] admit card today [yesterday], but instead he got a shroud,” said Abir’s father Mohammad Hanif at Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue.
With severe head injuries, he was rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where doctors declared him dead.
Locals caught the driver as he tried to flee with the vehicle and handed him over to police, who also seized the vehicle.
Abir’s death sparked protests among fellow students, teachers and locals who blocked Wari road and demonstrated for about an hour. They eventually left after assurances of justice from the police.
His father, a business man, was inconsolable as his elder son Faisal Ahmed drowned in a Gulistan Park pond five years ago and his wife died just nine months back.
Speaking to reporters, he said his son was excited about the farewell programme and talked to him the night before about what they would do during the programme in school the next day.
“How will I live now? I escorted him to Joy Kali Temple intersection. Had I known, I would have escorted him up to the school,” the father, wiping tears from his checks, said.
“My son wanted to be a businessman someday. For this, he chose to study commerce,” Hanif was saying to himself.
The victim’s friends said the driver did not stop even after hitting him.
“The driver ran him over even after he collapsed. Had he stopped, Abir could have been saved,” said Kazi Fahad, Abir’s classmate.
Students and teachers demanded that the driver be punished to the full extent of the law.
Jahir Hossain, sub-inspector of Wari Police Station, said the driver was reckless on a road usually used by pedestrians.