In pain, in agony
Alamgir, the bus helper who was burnt while sleeping in a bus at Mawa Ghat early on Saturday, was still in a critical condition yesterday, doctors said.
“He inhaled a lot of smoke. So I am very afraid he may develop respiratory problems. His chest is racked with pain as he coughs — it is very painful watching him cough all day long,” his brother Anis Sheikh told The Daily Star.
Alamgir, 25, was sleeping in the bus when the attack came. By the time he woke up, 30 percent of his body was burnt.
Being trapped inside for a long time caused him more damage, doctors said.
Then there is the financial woe of these victims.
Mother of Al-Amin, another arson victim, is worried how she would pay back the money she borrowed for her son’s treatment.
“We have already spent around Tk 1 lakh on his treatment. His father is a rickshaw puller…so we had to borrow the money from others. I do not know how we are going to pay it back,” she said.
At the moment, 34 patients are being treated at the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said Partha Shankar Pal, resident surgeon of the unit.
All victims of the recent political violence, they are not sure about getting justice.
“I am a poor rickshaw puller. How I can spend time seeking justice,” said the father of Shimul, 10, who suffered 15 percent burns in an arson attack on a human haulier.
The attack happened near Satmasjid Road in the capital during the opposition hartal on November 10.
Abdul Mannan, another arson victim, said many pickets are street urchins who grew up on their own without any guidance of their parents.
“What if the person who set my bus on fire was a kid like that? The judiciary will still punish him without taking into consideration the fact that they have grown up amid violence,” said Mannan, when asked if he would seek justice.
Eight others were seriously burned when arsonists set the bus aflame near Jatrabari in the capital on November 12.
A case was filed in this connection with Jatrabari Police Station but police have yet to arrest anyone, said Minhazul Islam, assistant commissioner (Demra Zone).
Kamal, who suffered 25 percent burns in another attack in Laxmibazar on November 10, said: “I do not know how the police will catch the right people. No one recognised who set the vehicle on fire.”
Sutrapur police arrested nine people in this connection, all BNP, Jamaat, Shibir and Chhatra Dal men, said Mahbub Alam, sub-inspector of Sutrapur Police Station.
The case was filed against 15 unidentified people.