In TEARS they mourn
There was pin-drop silence inside the conference room of the Police Headquarters.
Everyone stood in silence for a minute from 12:25pm in memory of the two police inspectors killed during an anti-militancy drive in Sylhet last month.
Struggling to keep their emotions in check for sometime, the family members of the slain officers broke down in tears, making the air heavy with grief.
Mohammad Abu Kaiser, inspector of court police in Sylhet, and Monirul Islam, inspector (investigation) of Jalalabad Police Station, suffered fatal injuries in two blasts near a militant hideout at Atia Mahal on March 25. Hours later, they died at a hospital.
“My husband was the lone breadwinner of our family. His sudden death has made us helpless,” Monirul's wife Parvin Akther told The Daily Star yesterday.
“I don't know what to do now. I have a 15-month-old son to raise.”
“I'll try my best to bring him up in such a way that he can join the police force and serve the country.”
She appealed to the government to provide her with a job to help raise her son and support the family.
In an emotion-choked voice, Kaiser's wife Sayra Farhana Chowhdury said, “What should I say… I have nothing left to say. I hope no one will ever fall a victim to such a tragic incident.
“Moments before the blast, my husband phoned me and asked me to pray for him. But I couldn't even imagine that it would be our last conversation.”
Sayra said her husband had worked in UN missions abroad and faced many tough situations, but she had never thought that he would die that day.
She believes people from all walks of life would join the fight against militancy and help prevent recurrence of such incidents in the future.
Kaiser from Sunamganj was taken in the police as a sub-inspector in 1991, while Monirul from Noakhali joined the force in the same rank in 2004.
Seven people, including the two inspectors and director of Rab intelligence wing Lt Col Abul Kalam Azad, were killed in two blasts during the anti-militancy drive.
Yesterday, Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Haque handed over Tk 24 lakh each to the families of the two slain officers.
Sayra received Tk 4 lakh in cash from Sylhet Metropolitan Police (SMP) and saving certificates of Tk 20 lakh.
Monirul's wife Parvin got savings certificates of Tk 10 lakh and Tk 2 lakh in cash from the SMP while his mother Firoza received Tk 12 lakh.
Seven police officials, who were injured in the recent anti-militancy drives in Sylhet, Moulvibazar and Chittagong, were also given Tk 50,000 each in financial help.
Apart from them, Tk 10 lakh was given to the family of slain Rab official Lt Col Azad more than a week ago.
Speaking at yesterday's programme, Shahidul said the police have been fighting militancy with great courage.
He termed some political leaders' recent comments on anti-militancy drives “irresponsible”.
“Some political leaders' irresponsible comments on the recent anti-militancy drives have drawn our attention. They are trying to demean the law enforcers' efforts to curb militancy,” he said.
“Such comments will encourage militants…”
He also called for refraining from making such “irresponsible”, “fictitious” and “false” comments at a time when the nation is united against militancy.
Thanking people for their support during anti-militancy drives, the IGP said, “We will carry on our efforts against militancy with people's support.”
Additional IGP Mokhlesur Rahman, DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah, Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit Chief Monirul Islam, and SMP Commissioner Golam Kibria, among others, were present at the function.