No one can imagine how hard it was yesterday for young Ridad.
The eighth grader sat his first public exams and then went straight to the Dhaka University Central Mosque to join the Janaza of his father, who had been slain by unknown assailants.
Despite the tragic circumstances and the emotional trauma, Ridad, the elder son of slain Jagriti Prokashoni publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan, listened to his family’s wishes and went to participate in the JSC exams.
At the janaza, he requested all to pray for his father.
His sister Ridma, a sixth-grader, is hardly able to fathom the horror of her father’s death, said Dipan’s father, former Dhaka University Professor Abul Kashem Fazlul Haque.
The entire family grieved when Dipan’s body was brought to his residence at DU Sufia Kamal Hall teacher’s quarters.
Hugging Ridma, Dipan’s wife Dr Razia Sultana cried inconsolably beside her husband’s body. Dipan’s mother Rokeya Prodhan also broke down in tears. Dipan’s father mourned in silence beside them.
On Saturday, Faisal Arefin Dipan, the publisher of Jagriti Prokashoni, was hacked to death in his office at the capital’s Aziz Co-operatives Super Market. Jagriti Prokashoni published works by slain writer-blogger Avijit Roy, including his controversial book Biswasher Virus (The Virus of Faith).
Prof Haque said Dipan stopped publishing such books after the controversy created by Avijit’s book. “My son disliked controversy, especially on religious issues.”
The solution to the murders of secular personalities should first be sought on ideological and political grounds as legal actions alone cannot prevent such killings, Dipan’s father said.
Talking to the Dhaka Tribune yesterday, he said: “Such crisis will only be resolved if the good sense prevails. Judiciary, police, law and courts can only punish a person, but it would not work for national development.
“I do not want any trial, rather good sense should prevail among everyone,” said Prof Haque while receiving the body of his son Faisal Arefin Dipan from the Dhaka Medical College morgue.
The professor said he would comply to a request from Dhaka University authorities and file a case today regarding his son’s death. “But that does not mean I am depending on it. I have always followed rules and I am doing this as a part of it,” he added.
Commenting on the possible outcomes of filing a case, Dipan’s father said the culprits might be given death sentences if a trial was ensured and its verdict was executed; but the killing missions would continue, he added.
Commenting on the recent killing of secular bloggers, Prof Haque said the government was pursuing a legal approach with the help of law enforcement agencies. “But I think the solution must come through ideology and politics first.”