‘At least give us the bodies’
One month after the MV Abhijan-10 launch fire tragedy, relatives of those who went missing are yet to find their bodies.
According to Barguna District Administration, 31 people are still missing while the latest death toll stands at 49. Contacted, CID officials said they will be able to come up with a conclusive report on the missing persons next month.
Farida Begum, who is currently staying in Dhaka, told this correspondent over phone that three of her loved ones -- her daughter Pakhi Begum, grandson Nasirullah and daughter-in-law Hakim Sharif -- were on the launch during the fire hazard but are yet to be traced.
She said they couldn't find the bodies despite repeated searches at Jhalakathi, Barguna and Barishal Medical College Hospital. ''How long will we wait? At least give us the bodies," she said.
The same was echoed by Obaidul Haque of Patuakhali's Mirzaganj, who said his aunt Jahanara Begum and uncle were boarding the launch during the accident. But while his uncle was injured, currently undergoing treatment for burn injury at BIRDEM, his aunt Jahanara went missing.
A team of six CID personnel from Dhaka visited the spot and collected evidence on December 27, said Md Rabiul Islam, DNA examiner of CID's DNA lab.
He said a report will be prepared in this regard any time next month.
Contacted, Barguna Deputy Commissioner Md.Habibur Rahman said, "We have buried a total of 25 people, including two in Jhalakathi and twenty-three in Barguna. More than thirty people are still missing."
Meanwhile, victims' relatives and rights organisations are calling for immediate financial assistance for the affected families.