Saturday, April 13, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

As she lay dying

Update : 28 Jul 2017, 11:29 PM
Shahina couldn’t have anticipated a more tragic end to her life. She was buried alive, then virtually ressurected and then, she died. After cheating death for four days, trapped under rubble at Savar, Shahina Aktar had seen a little ray of hope when rescue workers were finally able to trace her. On Sunday, rescuers combined all their efforts to get her out of the grave-like-room she had been trapped under. At that moment, she was probably hoping to live for which reason she kept vying for her life, by holding on and keeping faith. A rescue worker, Ejazuddin Kaikobad, who was one of the many who had been trying to save her. He was using a metal blade to cut the beam that allegedly was trapping her in. By the irony of Shahina's fate, there was a spark which started the fire that eventually suffocated and killed her. Ejaz was severely burned in the fire. Shahina’s body didn’t have any burn mark on it; only a scar on the forehead. She struggled; she had good reason to fight death till the end - baby boy to go back to. She used to send money back home to her father for her son’s upbringing. But the story of her tragedy was yet to end. Yesterday, when Shahina’s grieving parents had come from Savar Majidpur and claimed her dead body, they were curtly refused. Police, quoting Shahina, told them that she was from Kushtia, and she said she had no kin except her son. The problem was Shahina's parents are originally from Patuakhali and this created confusion. Shahina did not have the time nor the situation to disclose to the police that she had been separated from her husband, Hasanul Islam, for almost 2 years and Kushtia is the home of her in-laws. Her parents tried to reason but the police wouldn’t listen to them. At one point, they even verbally abused her parents by calling them ‘liars’ – which angered many locals present there who reacted by trying to shove the policemen. AKM Aminur Rahman, the deputy director of the local government, Dhaka district office said the he could not give the corpse over until he is absolutely certain. And there were doubts that remained. And if they are unsuccessful in resolving these doubts, they would go as far as a DNA test. Shahina’s parents tried to prove their point in as many ways as they could and even decided to bring their 18-month-old grandson Robin to Savar as an identifier. Dhaka’s Additional District Commissioner (Revenues), Monoj Kumar Roy said that the rescuers tried to rescue her wholeheartedly, but they could not save her. She had spoken of no family members except her son. As the doubts lingered, they could not hand her corpse over. Hence, DNA tests seemed like the only solution for verification of Shahina's identity. In the end, the Thana Nirbahi Officer at Khepupara was instructed to verify if Abdul Motaleb was actually Shahina’s father or not. While verifying, the TNO met Shahina’s husband, Hasanul Islam, who endorsed the information. Upon verification, the body has been given to the family in the evening. Her body is now being taken to Mandipara for burial.


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