A day after four students of Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology went missing in the Bay of Bengal, the search teams were still trying to track down their bodies until yesterday evening.
The students were Istiaq Bin Mahmud alias Uday, Shahriar Islam Noman, Sabbir Hossain Sagoto and Golam Rahim Bappi. All were final year students of the Computer Science and Engineering Department of the university and they did not how to swim.
Lieutenant Kazi Harun-or-Rashid, commander of the Teknaf Coast Guard and also head of the search team, said their search drive would continue until the bodies of the missing students were found.
A Bangladesh Navy team was also helping them in the drive, he continued.
Professor Abdullah Al Mamun, chairman of the CSE Department of the university, told the Dhaka Tribune: “We will wait on the island till Wednesday night for the bodies and hope that the corpses will be found by that time.”
The students’ families were agitated and crying.
While visiting Sabbir Hossain Sagoto’s house in the Mohammadpur area, the correspondent found his father Hasan-or-Rashid and mother Selina Akter were in excessive grief and repeatedly praying, “God, I beg you to give my son back.”
On Friday night, the missing students along with 30 fellows set out for Cox’s Bazar from the capital to celebrate Pahela Baishakh and then on Sunday they went to Saint Martin’s Island and were staying at a hotel there.
On Monday, ten of them were washed away by strong current while they were bathing. Six managed to swim ashore and two of them died later during treatment.
The deceased were Saddam Hossain Ankur, 23, and Manfezul Islam Evan, 23, whose bodies were already handed over to their family members, said Teknaf police station OC Ranjit Kumar Barua.
When Ankur’s body reached his Farmgate residence, a pall of gloom descended there. He was the younger of two children of banker Golam Faruk.
Teary-eyed Golam Faruk said his son was a very good student and he had a plan to gain a higher degree from BUET, but the dream came to a premature end with his death.
While visiting, our corresponded found no one at Evan’s house, situated on Tazmahal road in the Mohammadpur area, as all of his family members were visiting their village home in Thakurgaon to bury the body, said Jahir Rayhan, security guard.
Farhanul Morteza Farhan, a survivor, said there was no cautionary red flag on the spot, which is mandatory during ebb tide.
Soon after the incident, however, the authorities concerned hoisted a red flag there.