National, Front Page

Fatema’s last hope burnt to ashes

Published : 05 Dec 2023 02:56 PM | Updated : 05 Dec 2023 02:56 PM

The image of a widow Fatema Begum along with her 10-month-old baby and a special needs child (son), who lost her husband in a horrific petrol bomb attack in Khagrachari district, has sent a shock wave across the country.

Her (widow) husband Belal Hossain, 35, died while undergoing treatment at the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery in the capital Dhaka on Saturday afternoon.

The truck driver’s assistant Belal Hossain and driver Ishak Mia sustained burn injuries in an arson attack in Khagrachari during BNP’s blockade programme on Nov 27.

Two unidentified arsonists attacked and torched the truck after blocking the road while Ishak and Belal transporting rice from a warehouse in Chattogram. Although Ishak managed to escape, Belal was stuck inside.

The neighbours said Belal was a very gentle man. 

Earlier Fatema Begum was the wife of Belal’s elder brother. Belal married Fatema Begum after the death of his elder brother. 

So, deep sadness caused by her second husband’s tragic death, Fatema Begum is now speechless with grief.

She (Fatema Begum) is unable to shed tears or emote any sorrow.

She does not talk to anyone, shed tears and express sorrow or emotion but stare aimlessly at the sky.

Thus, the deceased Belal’s helpless wife Fatema Begum seems to be sitting like a stone now.

Apart from the widow, her children were also left speechless by the catastrophe.

According to relatives, Belal had assured his kids of shopping warm clothes as winter sets in.    

Besides, the tragic death of Belal also saddened the entire nation.

Like Fatema Begum’s family, many families in the country were ruined due to arson attacks carried out by BNP-Jamaat activists. 

Talking to journalists, local people said they do not like to see the repetition of such deadly and tragic petrol bomb attacks that continue taking people’s lives and ruining many families with moments.  

Many reports of arson violence were recorded in different places of the country as trains and vehicles including buses; covered van, trucks CNG-run autorickshaws, and pickup vans were torched. 

Some vested elements continued to ‘play with fire’ as part of their blue print to foil the next general election at any cost. 

They became desperate to make the country’s next poll questionable and controversial in many ways. 

If the law enforcement and intelligence agencies launch massive security measures, the Pakistan collaborators of 1971 will never be able to fulfill their goals rather they will be uprooted from the country. 

People believe no obstacle can halt the country’s 12th Jatiya Sangsad election. 

When much enthusiasm and excitement are running high among people centring the upcoming national election, BNP-Jamaat and some vested quarter have become desperate and engaged their ill efforts in destabilising the peaceful situation through conducting anarchy. 

The petrol bombs attacks are being carried out to create fear and tension and to mire the prevailing joy and enthusiasm ahead of the national poll.

Local people including Belal’s younger brother Abu Bakar, neighbour Amir Hossain and Abul Kalam demanded exemplary punishments to the masterminds and the perpetrators of the mayhem through trials. 

“We are urging the government to hold trial of all involved in the arson attacks in which many people including my brother were killed and numerous others injured,” Abu Bakar said.

“We are demanding immediate and exemplary punishment to the culprits and sought help from the premier to help the victim’s family. As the family only depends on Belal’s income,” Amir Hossain said.   

The victim family members also expressed their apprehension whether they could see the punishment of the culprits in their lifetime. 

In the nationwide violence including arson and petrol bomb attacks carried out by the BNP-Jamaat clique from October 28 to till date in the name of so-called movement burnt down many vehicles, killing many people and injuring scores of others like between the year of 2014 and 2015.