Minorities Face Police Fire: Hindu Student Shot by Police

Noyon Bachhar

“I am Hindu, not from Shibir.”

Noyon Bachhar is a student from the philosophy department of Jogonnath University, Bangladesh. He was young, healthy and cheerful. Suddenly the 4th of February changed the story of his life. Following injury from police firing, Noyon Bachher’s present abode is bed no.69 in the AB ward of the Disabled Hospital.

He was supposed to have an injection yesterday. But due to financial crisis, the BDT1150 priced injection could not be bought. The entire ward is heavy with the agony of the injured son and his mother Shikha Rani Mojumder. One can hear them crying quite often. Noyon was heard saying to his mother, “if my leg has to be amputated what will happen to you, mother? How much more do you have to suffer in life?”

How life has changed for Noyon Bachhar. He himself narrated to us his story of that night. It was almost 8:30pm and he was in front of Victoria Park Dhaka, returning from tutoring. He boarded a bus for Mirhajirbagh. In no time the bus was torched. Just as he was about to get out of the bus, the police caught him and asked whether he was a part of Jamaat-Shibir or not. In his reply he said his name was Noyon Bachhar and was from the Hindu community. Without any hesitation, the policeman dressed in white, aimed his gun at Noyon’s knee and shot him. He could not recall what happened next.

Why did this happen? Neither the son nor his mother had the answer. Shikha Rani Mojumder was saying, “I am stunned. While noyon was still in the womb his father went away to India and never came back. After that I have been single handedly taking care of my dear son and struggling in life for the past 22 years. Keeping him close to my heart, I slowly knitted dreams. I vowed to help him become a man even if I had to starve or be illiterate myself. When he got admitted to Jogonnath I thought this could be the end of all the struggles. Just a little while longer. After his studies he can have a decent job and marry a beautiful girl. My son, his wife and I can spend the rest of our lives in peace and harmony.” Saying this Shikha Rani Majumder began to weep.

A friend of Noyon, who was visiting, said that Shikha Rani Mojumder stayed in a small house with her son at her father’s place. She taught at a local registered primary school in Bagerhat. She had to take care of the family of two with her meagre salary. Keeping her son’s studies and future in mind, she refrained from starting a new family, and instead held onto the only family she had: her son. Noyon Bachhar’s friend further said, “everyday for 13 days they had to pay BDT5000 for his treatment. Each day they have to buy BDT1150 injection. Shikha Rani is really struggling to raise this kind of money. There are not many capable relatives either who can extend a helping hand. In the meantime all her savings and that which was collected from relatives have already been spent. Without the injection, the dressing of his leg could not be done yesterday.

Shikha Rani begged the reporter to ask the members, chairmen and members of the Parliament from her village and ask about him at his university and dormitory as well before writing the report. “Do not listen to the made up stories of the police. My son never in his entire life went to a single procession or a meeting. Let my son and l live.”

This poor school teacher also cried out for a helping hand from everyone to bear the massive cost of his son’s treatment. Meanwhile, in the Disabled Hospital, there have been 17 patients who were wounded by the police up until now. They are kept under heavy surveillance. Within one month three such patients had to be amputated. A nurse on duty, whose name will not be mentioned, said that lately all the patients wounded by the police have had gunshot wounds to their knees and being shot at the knees means being crippled for life.

Source: Manab Zamin