“Hey, where’s glycerin? Put on some glycerin,” shouts a man. A woman, awkwardly draped in a cheap plaid saree, puts some glycerin on her eyes, and the camera starts rolling.
Yes, it is a music video shoot, although the location is far from being scenic or photogenic. This scene was shot at the observation ward of the burn unit at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) yesterday (Wednesday).
The woman in plaid saree pats a burn victim on his head as the camera rolls. The victim, who was seriously burned in Wednesday’s arson attack on a bus, and his relatives seemed to be completely baffled by the shooting, that also drew some crowd.
Although many journalists and TV cameras were present at the scene, between the regular chaos of the burn unit no one seemed to notice the shooting at all. After a few hours of shooting, the cast and the crew left.
A man named Rafiqul Islam Bulbul was directing the shoot. He introduced himself as a journalist, working at Bangladesh Television. When asked why he is doing it when BTV does have their people to do such shooting, he casually said, “I am working personally, I’ll submit it to BTV once it’s done.”
Rafiqul Islam’s visiting card has ‘PRESS’ written on it. According to the visiting card, he works at three different newspapers named Daily Ei Bangla, Weekly Durnity Report (the name was misspelled) and Weekly Friday Review. His designations are described as senior editor/ author and film director.
When contacted, BTV strongly denied any association with Rafiqul Islam. Deputy director general Bahar Uddin said someone is trying to serve his vested interest using BTV’s name. “Independent submissions need to go through a long procedure under the package policy. One cannot just submit his work whenever he like,” he said.
Dr Samanta Laal Sen, honorary adviser to the National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery at the DMCH, said no one asked for their permission to do a shooting at the burn unit.
Giving someone permission to shoot with the burn victims is out of question, said an administrative official at the burn unit, though he sought anonymity.