Vol. 5 Num 87 Sun. August 22, 2004  
Front Page

Lensmen's request saves Hasina's life

A simple request by photojournalists may have saved Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina from a terrible death when a series of grenade were thrown at her from nearby rooftops yesterday, an eyewitness said.

Hasina was coming down the truck right after her speech and slogans of "Joy Bangla" bellowing around her when some photojournalists asked her to stay on the truck for a moment to let them take a final snap. As soon as she paused, the first grenade was hurled at the spot she was supposed to come down.

Ivy Rahman, critically injured from the first grenade blast, was holding out her hand to help Hasina get down from the truck.

"I was taking tea on the side of the road and saw something hurtling through the air from near the petrol pump. Everything turned upside down within a moment," said the eyewitness, who spoke on condition that he not be named.

Hasina was whisked away by her personal bodyguards. Her sari was tainted by blood of people who were around her during the grenade blast. A number of activists came to guard Hasina even after they themselves were seriously wounded, eyewitnesses said.