‘Everything in my shop for Eid sale burnt to ashes’

Photo: Star

Sentu Miah, owner of a shop at Nurjahan Market in New Market, bought clothes worth Tk 20 lakh to sell in his shop on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. But everything was burnt to ashes in the fire.

Standing beside the ashes, he lamented his loss and told this to The Daily Star. He still could not comprehend what exactly happened in the blink of an eye.

Three other shops also reported similar losses.

At around 1 pm today, a group of miscreants set fire to a shop which later spread to three other shops -- burning them to the ground.

The incident took place in a series of clashes between Dhaka College students and traders in New Market. The shopkeepers alleged that agitating students of Dhaka College set fire on the shop.

Many eyewitnesses said that the situation could have been avoided if the police had played an active role.

The shop owners said students first set fire to the shops and later exploded crude bombs.

Witnesses said that fire service personnel were already in the New Market area and put out the fire instantly, or else the whole market could have been gutted in the blaze.

When the fire broke out, Mohammad Ali, a shop owner of Nurjahan Market rushed to fire officials and requested them to save their goods from the fire.

He told The Daily Star, "We could not make up the losses of the last two years due to Covid-19. During this Eid, we brought goods, investing a lot of money to recuperate our losses. But all hopes went in vain. Dhaka College students are responsible for this. They are not students, they are goons."

Expressing anger, another shop owner Mizanur Rahman said they do not know how they will recover the losses.

He urged the government to compensate them for their damages otherwise they will suffer much.

Abdul Hakim, a student of Dhaka College, however, said that students did not set fire to the shops.

"The shop caught fire when police fired tear gas," he claimed.


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