Jihad died 2 hrs into fall
Jihad suffered head injuries while falling down the borehole and drowned in the water at the bottom of the well shaft around two hours into his fall, conclude forensic experts.
A three-member doctors' team of Dhaka Medical College made the revelation yesterday morning after conducting an autopsy.
Four-year-old Jihad fell down the 300-foot well shaft while playing with other children in the capital's Shahjahanpur Railway Colony around 4:00pm on Friday. His body was pulled out by a group of volunteers around 3:00pm the following day, shortly after the government agencies called off the rescue bid on Saturday saying there was no sign of the boy inside the well.
Meanwhile, two writs were filed with the High Court seeking a number of directives, including asking the government to give adequate compensation to Jihad's family and take actions against officials who failed to rescue the boy.
Rust particles were found under Jihad's fingernails, proving that the boy desperately tried to hold on to the wall of steel pipe, used to reinforce the shaft, during the plunge, the forensic experts said.
He also sustained head injuries and is believed to have fallen unconscious inside the well. Later, he drowned in the water at the bottom.
"The presence of water inside the boy's stomach, respiratory system and lungs indicates that his death was caused by drowning," said Prof Habibuzzman Chowdhury who led the forensic team.
The professor of Forensic Medicine Department of the DMCH told The Daily Star that Jihad might have died two hours into his fall.
"Even if there were no water, the [head] injury itself could prove fatal for him," he said, adding that Jihad's body received some more injury marks while being pulled above.
After the autopsy, the body was taken to his ancestral village of Nagerpara in Shariatpur's Gosairhat upazila and buried there. Several thousand people attended his janaza before the burial.
WRITS WITH HIGH COURT
Rights organisation Children's Charity Bangladesh Foundation (CCBF) and Supreme Court lawyer Syed Mayeenul Huq filed writs as public interest litigations in connection with the tragic death of Jihad.
The CCBF pleaded with the HC to issue a rule upon the authorities to explain why they should not be directed to give compensation of Tk 30 lakh to Jihad's family for "gross negligence and violation of human rights and right to life guaranteed by the constitution", and to give proper honour, appreciation and recognition to the volunteers who recovered Jihad's body.
It also prayed that the court ask the government as to why it should not be directed to file a murder case against the director general of Fire Service and Civil Defence and its director (operation and maintenance); the director general of Bangladesh Railway and the managing director of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority for their alleged negligence and failure to rescue Jihad.
The CCBF also urged the court to issue a rule upon the government on making a list of pipes, wells, tube wells, sewerage pipes, holes and water tanks left uncared or uncovered or unsafe throughout the country and submit the list to the court in two months.
Syed Mayeenul Huq in his petition appealed to the HC to order the government to form a high powered expert committee, including the volunteers, to investigate why the government officials failed to rescue Jihad.
He also prayed to the court to ask the government to take legal steps against the police personnel who had held Jihad's father Nasir Fakir for around 12 hours at Shahjahanpur Police Station on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the BNP yesterday alleged that the government was not sincere in the rescue bid, and said, “People are in doubt whether the administration used the incident in its own interests.”
"The remarks of the state minister for home affairs and the government high officials about the rescue operation were confusing and the rescue efforts were mere eyewash," BNP Joint Secretary General Rizvi Ahmed told the press at the party's Nayapaltan office.