By Hasan Moudud
The extent of suffering of our family members over the three and half years during which my father Abdul Quader Mollah was behind the bars is indescribable. Even though all our family members have enormous mental strength, all of us are now completely devastated. That was not the first time that my father suffered imprisonment; but the enormity of suffering this time was overwhelming. During his time in jail, our usual activities were: visiting him in jail in Kashimpur in the district of Gazipur on Saturdays; trying to meet all his basic needs from outside as he had a medical condition; running here and there to continue the legal battle; carrying the stigma of our inability to do anything meaningful to protect this innocent man from the wrath of tyranny – all these virtually crippled our family. Despite everything, a tender smile from my father’s innocent face made everything tolerable.
However, I was abroad and I couldn’t do much. I was abroad even on 10 December 2013 when the prison authority told our family members to pay our last visit to my father. I got on plane on that night and came back to Dhaka on 11 December 2013 morning. On the way, I was praying to Allah so that He would give me the opportunity to see my father for the last time. Praise be to Allah that He granted me that chance (as his judicial murder was deferred for two days by one judge’s intervention).
When we went to the prison again to pay our last visit on 12 December 2013 evening to see him for the last time, my father embraced me and said: “No physical revenge; you take revenge on this injustice on me by getting involved in the Islamic movement and thus establishing Islam.” When we left the prison, we came to know that my father’s judicial murder would be executed on that night. The prison authority was supposed to hand over the dead body to us, which they did not do. Altogether fifteen members of our family were ready to travel to our home district Faridpur where the prison authority was taking my father’s dead body.
We were all ready to head off and were waiting downstairs of our residence. At that time some savage ruling party Awami League hooligans attacked us with sharp weapons. Then the police surrounded us and, to our utter astonishment, started to beat us up! As we were being severely beaten by the police and forced into the police van, we all had the fear of being subject to forced disappearances.
Eventually, we were taken to Ramna police station in Dhaka. After few hours when my maternal uncle and elder sister came to the police station and got us released, some us were badly injured. When we returned home late at night, we were not in a condition to make it to Faridpur which is hundreds of miles away from Dhaka. The police buried him hurriedly and denied us the right to see the dead body of my father.
Perhaps, even in the worst of savage societies, human beings do not mistreat others in such a manner. My father got the first class ticket to heaven even though we are left stranded. O Allah! Give us the ability to bear the massive responsibility that my father entrusted on us!