Scores of hospitalised madrasa students were unaware of the May 5 rally at Motijheel Shapla Chattar in the capital and now are bearing the brunt of Hefazat violence.
It is their religious mentors at madrasas who persuaded the impressionable teens to attend the rally of which they knew virtually nothing, say the injured and their family.
The May 5 and 6 mayhem in the wake of Hefazat rally left hundreds of students, belonging to different religious institutions, wounded. They are now counting hours on hospital beds.
The families of the teen victims were utterly shocked to find their loved ones severely injured in the Hefazat pandemonium.
They lay blame outright on the madrasa teachers who convinced their immature sons to accompany them to the rally.
Rashedul Islam, 14, a student of Mirpur Khademul Islam Madrasa, said: “I was unaware of where I was going. I just came from the madrasa as my teacher asked me to do so.”
Injured by bullet that hit in the lower part of his body, the teenager is now bedridden in ward number 103 of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
“On Sunday when I woke up very early, Huzur (preacher) told me to get ready immediately after the prayer to go to a programme where many other Huzurs will converge, and I simply followed his instruction,” Rashedul said in a faint voice.
Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, his mother Aleya Begum said she came to know about her son’s injury on Monday.
“One Suman called me in the morning only to say that my Rashedul is hospitalised. The news came to me as an unbearable pain,” said the aggrieved mother.
Hailing from Narsingdi, the family live in Keraniganj, the outskirts of the capital.
When asked about her son’s joining the rally, Aleya, with tears rolling down her eyes, said: “I knew nothing of that.”
“I am a mother and no mother would have let her son take part in such a programme which could pose a threat to his life,” she said while crying.
Like Rashedul, many innocent madrasa students are suffering the same fate, hospitalised in Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Every victim’s family held their madrasa teachers responsible for their sons’ sufferings.
They went to the extent of saying that the religious teachers sometimes force and sometimes lure their kids into engaging in such violent demonstration.
A Lalbagh Qawmi Madrasa student Mohammad Sohan said he attended the rally because the concerned authority assured him they would pay for his SSC exam fees and serve him good food.
The severely injured 16-year-old is now being treated in bed number six, ward number 102 of DMCH.
Sohan, from the city’s Shonirakhra, is the eldest son of Shirajul Islam.
The victim’s mother said she is apprehensive of how she would foot the medical bill for her son.
“All these happened because of the madrasa authorities who insisted on my son’s joining the Hefazat rally,” said the mother.
They make false promises to the little kids and take them to such programmes, she said, adding that “till Tuesday, none came to visit my son who was admitted to the hospital Sunday afternoon.”
“I never thought that religious people like madrasa teachers would drag our loved ones and put them in such dangerous circumstances,” said the mother.
Dr Horidash Protap Saha, residential physician of DMCH Casualty Department, told the Dhaka Tribune a total of 135 patients came to the hospital since Sunday afternoon.
Most of them sustained bullet injuries and majority of the victims are teenagers, he said.