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Prothom Alo suppressed news of Naimul’s death

Published : 03 Nov 2019 08:57 PM | Updated : 24 Apr 2021 05:08 AM

The students of Residential Model College on Sunday alleged that the Prothom Alo newspaper authorities supressed the news of Naimul Abrar’s death on Friday for several hours so that the concert could go on uninterrupted. And there is no way Prothom Alo can wiggle out of this accusation, they feel.

The newspaper officials, present at the concert, executed a plan to conceal the news to avoid possible violence from the spread of the devastating news. They also alleged that the body of the deceased was sent to a distant Universal Hospital, instead of the nearby Suhrawardy Hospital, which is just opposite to the place of electrocution, only to avoid autopsy.

The ninth grader student of Dhaka Residential Model College Naimul Abrar died when he came in contact with a live electric wire during a concert organised by Prothom Alo ancillary Kishor Alo. Students of the college alleged that the live wire was left open by the organisers without taking any safety measures, despite having so many electric appliances at the place of the concert.

Students alleged that authorities did not care for the safety measures despite knowing that hundreds of school children would attend the concert. Meanwhile, managing director of Universal Hospital Ashish Kumar Chakrabarty on Sunday claimed that Abrar died on the college field, before he was brought to the hospital.

“Abrar died on the college field. But there are some formalities to declare a person dead, and to complete the formalities duty doctors at the venue sent the body to the hospital. Two of the volunteers who brought the body knew about this formality well,” he said, adding, “though I don’t know whether they informed the concert organisers over the walkie-talkies they had with them.”

He also said, “One of our doctors from the medical camp informed us over the phone that a student had died of electrocution on the field. When the body reached the hospital, our duty doctor did not find any pulse or heart-beat. The boy was declared dead at 4:51 pm on Friday.”

In reply to a query, why he was sent to the faraway hospital instead of nearby Suhrawardy Hospital, Chakrabarty said, “Decision of the medical camp doctor was the final decision.” But contradicting the hospital MD’s claim, Abrar’s father and his classmates categorically rejected the claim while talking to Bangladesh Post.

Abrar’s classmate Labib claimed that while being rushed to hospital in ambulance, Abrar was still talking. Abrar’s father, Mujibur Rahman, claimed to Bangladesh Post on Sunday that life of his son could have been saved if only Kishore Alo authorities had taken him directly to Suhrawardy Hospital.

Demanding exemplary punishment of those responsible for the premature death of his son, Rahman alleged that in an attempt to bury the issue, Prothom Alo authorities in accomplice with Universal Hospital administration hastily handed over the body of his son to him without autopsy.

Mojibur Rahman said, “If the authorities concerned had taken him to nearby Suhrawardy Hospital immediately after the electrocution, he might have had a chance to survive. He also said on that day the programme started on the school premises at 8:00am. Rahat was electrocuted at 4:00pm and he became unconscious and died at 7:00pm. His classmate Labib informed me via mobile. When we went to the hospital, we found him dead. Rahat is the youngest of two brothers and one sister.

Biplob Bijoy Talukder, Deputy Commissioner of Tejgaon Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told the media on Sunday that the family had not yet filed any complaint of the incident. A case of unnatural death has been filed with Mohammadpur thana. He, however, claimed that the body was handed over to the family without post mortem following Abrar’s family members’ request.

Earlier on Saturday, students of Residential Model College formed a human chain in front of the college gate. Observing that the negligence of the Kishore Alo, which claimed the life of Naimul Abrar, in no way can be accepted, said Abrar’s classmates. They said, “The Kishore Alo management did not take him to hospital in time.”

The grieved classmates said, “They did not stop the concert, even after it was known that a student died on the premise in an accident.” The concert was organised marking the sixth founding anniversary of the Kishor Alo (KiA), a magazine of daily Prothom Alo for juveniles. At the human chain, grade 11 student Ehteshmul placed a four-point demand to the Principal Brigadier General Kazi Shamim Farhad on behalf of the students.

The four points demand include – releasing of CCTV footage of the incident within 72 hours; acknowledging mismanagement of the event by Koshore Alo; making public the report of the investigation committee within 72 hours and Prothom Alo must issue a press statement mentioning the negligence, mismanagement and apathy of the authorities.

Notable, Naimul Abrar – son of Mujibur Rahman, hailed from Dhanyapur village under Soanapur union at Sonaimuri upazila in Noakhali, used to live with his family at Agargaon area in the capital. Abrar was buried at his ancestral village on Saturday morning.

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