<i>French student faces ordeal</i>
French student Sara never imagined she could be mugged like this until July 19, her third day in Bangladesh. The ordeal was too much to handle and she decided to cut her one-and-a-half-months trip short and leave Bangladesh this Friday.
The 21-year-old arrived in Bangladesh to join as an internee of Brac, the world's largest non-government organisation.
She has severe injuries to her legs, hands, back and chest. Five of her left ribs are broken, said Sara's doctor at United Hospital in Gulshan.
Sara, who does not want to disclose her full name, narrated the mugging to The Daily Star yesterday.
It was around 10:45 in the night when Sara and three of her French friends were returning to their hotels and guesthouses after having their dinner at a restaurant in Banani, she said lying in her hospital bed.
Sara's hotel was a five-minute walk from the restaurant.
“We just came out of the restaurant and were walking together along Banani Road-11. A shiny new car stopped besides me for seconds and a youth sitting on the passenger seat grabbed the bag which was hanging from my right shoulder,” said Sara, a business student from Lyon.
“I held my bag tighter and started shouting like I have never done before in my life. At that moment, the youth started punching my head and the car started rolling forward,” said Sara.
“The car started dragging me along as I held on to the bag for about 300 metres and then I let go. At that moment, I passed out for while and when I regained my senses I was still on the ground,” she said.
“I got so scared seeing the bleeding from my legs, hands and other parts of my body.”
Friends of Sara and a Bangladeshi lady rescued her from the middle of the road and laid her down on the couch of a nearby shop. They decided to take her to a hospital seeing all the bleeding.
Sara was then put on a rickshaw. On the way another car stopped besides them and a couple offered them a ride to the hospital. The couple took Sara to United Hospital.
“He [the mugger] was young and I think he is from a rich family,” she said.
Sara, however, got her bag back the next day when an official of Brac found it in Banani and returned it to her. The bag had the hotel address in it.
The muggers took all the money, the mobile phone and the camera but left her passport and credit cards.
Sara said she was supposed to visit Rangpur and Dinajpur as part of her internship.
“I really had good times with my friends here and the Brac programmes were interesting. But, I will have to leave Bangladesh without finishing my internship,” she said.
Enamul Islam, a doctor of United Hospital, said her condition is improving gradually. Injuries to her legs and back are deep and she could not walk for a few days, but now she can walk.