Arson victims, families fume at politics of killing
One attack after another, one death after another and they have seen enough. The arson victims and their families are now fuming in rage and want an end to this "politics of killing".
The deaths in quick succession of two cousins -- Nahid and Robin who were burned after arsonists set fire to a passenger bus on Thursday -- have sent a wave of panic among them too.
"They are competing to kill people in the name of politics," says Badrul Hasan, brother of Khadiza Nasrin who was among the 19 burned on Thursday near Shishu Park in the capital.
Khadija, a High Court lawyer, suffered 21 percent burns. She is at the intensive care unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
"I call upon all the general citizens to join me in the streets and stand for all those who are injured and dead. My loved one has been burned and yours could be too," says the grieving brother.
Nurunnabi, the police officer who too was burned, was very close to his retirement. The 55-year-old is an assistant sub-inspector at the Rajarbagh Police Lines.
"My father served the country almost all his life. How could the country do this to him at this age?" asked his son Abdullah Al-Mamun Rakib, a college student.
The mother of another victim of the same incident, Dhaka College student Wahidur Rahman Babu, looked at Nahid's body with horrors as the body was being wheeled out of the ward. She broke down into tears; her son sustained 28 percent burns.
Another mother, whose son Shafiqul Islam suffered 25 percent burns, let out a sudden piercing scream in the crowded third floor of the burn unit Thursday night. The cry seemed to have sprung from watching her son suffer.
Shafiqul, a banker, has had his entire face melted in flames, his skin peeled back all over to expose the flesh.
"Why is the country in anarchy? Why are we the ones to lose?" the mother yelled out.
Including the 19 victims of Thursday, the number of arson victims of the BNP-led 18-party alliance hartal and blockade this month stand at 52. Nine of them died so far, including Nahid and Robin.
At least four other victims are being treated at the DMCH burn unit in a "very critical" condition.