Monday, June 17, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Girl mistakes bomb for a ball, injures her eyes

Update : 29 Oct 2013, 08:11 PM

Rahima Akhter, aged nine, was sharing some food with her cousins at a playground near their house in the capital on Tuesday. The little girl soon noticed a small, ball-like object wrapped in red duct tape under a sack they were sitting on.

Thinking it was something they could play with, she picked up the colourful object and began to unwrap the tape. The “ball” went off with a bang and splinters hit her face and body.

The child was rushed to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), where doctors have little hope of saving her badly damaged eyes.

In another incident on Monday, a bystander, Abdur Rahman, lost an eye in a similar explosion of crude homemade bombs.

Rahman, a house painter, along with some fellow workers, was waiting at the Raysaheb Bazar intersection in the old part of the city to get hired for a job.

Suddenly, two crude bombs exploded near the group, hitting Rahman in the face. He is now suffering in pain at the National Institute of Eye Science and Hospital.

The two tragic incidents in the capital during the opposition-called 60-hour countrywide hartal has generated a lot of public flak, as well as sympathy. Opposition activists were blamed for both the blasts.

Rahima’s aunt, Nupur Akhter, said the girl had moved to a make-shift shack at Jurain with her parents, after they were evicted from their old house a few months ago. She was admitted to a local school.

Rahima’s father, Sobhan, is a scrap dealer. But recently, he became addicted to drugs and stopped providing for the family.

“My sister, Shoma, started begging to earn some money. She seems mentally imbalanced now-a-days,” Nupur said.

About the girl’s physical condition, Al Mahmud Lemon, deputy registrar of DMCH’s eye department, said both her eyes were damaged by splinters. She also sustained injuries to her hands, chest and abdomen.

“We have little hope for her right eye as the cornea has dissolved. We will do surgery on the left one. But first, her physical condition has to improve,” the doctor said.

Meanwhile, Rahman will also undergo surgery in his remaining good eye, but doctors at the eye institute could not say for sure whether he would fully regain his sight.

Rahman, from southern Patuakhali district, lives in a rented-room at Jinjira. He is the sole earner for his five-member family back home.

On the first day of the non-stop hartal on Sunday, a teenage boy sustained injuries when a bomb he was carrying exploded. A BNP activist allegedly gave him the bomb to use for picketing.  

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