<i>Far away from spotlight</i>
Nobody knows how the three pedestrians killed during the BDR mutiny were laid to rest by their families as neither the government nor the media is paying any attention to them.
Disheartened and frustrated, the families, who are very poor and have yet to get government attention, now sit silently. They cannot even determine what to say or demand -- justice or assistance or anything at all -- as none from the government has ever bothered to contact them even six days into the killings.
One of the three families is now moving to have the autopsy and police reports to apply for some assistance, another is in dilemma whether they should seek any help, while the other could not be contacted.
Besides the three pedestrians, two house-helps and two wives of army officers were killed, while over 25 civilians were injured.
Two of the families each living in a tiny room are also burdened with loans as they have already spent their savings for the burials. The government even did not help the families to find the bodies of their loved ones or inform them about the deaths.
"What is the use of the government taking our news as we have completed every work that should have been done by it? Why it takes so long for the government to come to us when the matter is published in newspapers and shown in televisions?" asked Rasheda, wife of Amzad Ali, who was killed on February 25.
"I have been describing the same story again and again in this mental condition for the last one week but none except for a few journalists showed up," aggrieved Rasheda complained.
Though the cabinet announced to help the civilians' families from the government fund on Sunday, the government has yet to decide the amount.
"Not the government, not the police have bothered to have a look on us though I cried for help. We did not have a place in the capital to bury my husband, while my kids were crying to see their father buried. I had to loan to manage a burial place for him in my village," said Rasheda, who cooks in residences and earns Tk 1,800 a month.
Besides Rasheda, her second son Moslem is the only earning member of the seven-member family who earns Tk 2,000 per month. They live in a shanty in Boubazar in Sonar Tangor in Hajaribagh in a single room at Tk 1,200.
Rasheda explained how she loaned about Tk 10,000 for taking her husband's body to Mymensingh. Amzad was buried at her father's residence as he did not have any parental property.
"I even had to pay for the post-mortem though the government should have taken the responsibility. I cried to police officers, army men and medical officers and managed to reduce the post-mortem payment to Tk 2,500 from Tk 3,000," Rasheda added.
The family visited the MP hostel on national parliament premises yesterday morning to seek some assistance and is requesting Hajaribagh police for a report required for that.
Amzad was bullet-hit in the head while going for medicine from BDR hospital on the first day of mutiny.
The family of Hridoy Hossain, a vegetable vendor aged around 13, did not even find the body at first. They had to run to different hospitals in the capital only to find the body lying unidentified at Dhanmondi Police Station.
"He is just a vendor. Could he lay down his life for the country? How can we ask for compensation or justice as he is not a soldier? Where should we go for justice?" said Raja Mia Bepari, father of Hridoy.
Hridoy was the second among six kids and they all live in a single room on Hazi Afsar Uddin Road in Jigatola. The family has already spent over Tk 50,000 for Hridoy, who was bullet-hit on the first day of mutiny.
"It seems I have become paralysed as Hridoy was the main caretaker of the family," said Raja Mia.
Tareq Aziz is the third civilian victim. He was a student of Peoples University in Mohammadpur and lived on Elephant Road. Tareq used to work in Destiny Group besides study to manage an earning for his family in Noakhali, neighbours say.