Vol. 5 Num 241 Fri. January 28, 2005  
Front Page

Wail breaks the news

A shrill wail broke the silence near the Birdem operating theatre (OT), heavy with only the sound of breathing, as the hospital secretary general announced Kibria's death.

The declaration virtually froze Kibria's relatives and party men who found it inevitable once they saw the mutilated body, hit by innumerable grenade splinters.

"He was brought dead here," Dr AKM Azad declared at 12:30am.

It was one of Kibria's uncles who could not control himself and screamed. Then, other relatives and party activists burst into tears. They had no hope to cling on to.

Three hospital security men were posted at the OT gate to prevent people from rushing inside where the 74-year-old bureaucrat-turned-politician was lying dead.

Top AL leaders who sat at Sudha Sadan to decide the next course of action appeared at the hospital on information of Kibria's death. They tried to condole the shell-shocked relatives in vain.

"We have no place to go, people have no security in this country... this country has been pushed into destruction," AL Presidium Member Tofail Ahmed said.

The former minister failed to hold tears, shattered at the grisly incident that came only five months after another cruel grenade attacks on AL rally on August 21 when 23 people including AL's Women Affairs Secretary Ivy Rahman were killed.

Wiping his cheeks, Tofail said, "This incident could never have happened if the government punished the people behind the Bangabandhu Avenue attack."

Police were guarding Birdem Hospital's main entrance since news came at 9:30pm that Kibria was being brought to the hospital.

Apart from journalists, Kibria's relatives and AL adherents started thronging to the hospital after TV channels aired the news.

While local AL activists were taking Kibria and other two grenade-hit AL men, party leaders Abdus Samad Azad, Tofail Ahmed, Amir Hossain Amu, Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Abdur Razzak, Asaduzzaman Noor, leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League, Jubo League, Swechchhasebak League, Sramik League kept waiting at the hospital gate to receive him.

AL GS Abdul Jalil and JSD President Hasanul Haq Inu also joined them later.

As soon as the ambulance reached there at 11:22pm, relatives and party men's wailing filled the whole area.

On three trolleys kept ready at the entrance, they were rushed to the third floor operating theatre.

Failing to stop the rush of visitors, the hospital staff closed the gates. But many forced open the gate and gathered in front the OT.

Every minute the visitors waiting for doctors' statement of their health appeared too long before one doctor made unofficial announcement of Kibria's death before reporters.

After undergoing surgery, Abdullah was shifted to a cabin while Jahid was kept in the OT till 12:30am.

Talking to The Daily Star, senior AL leader Abdur Razzak came down heavily on the coalition government for not bringing to book the people behind repeated bomb and grenade attacks.

"The government's indifference to these incidents encouraged the perpetrators to carry out more attacks. How many more deaths it (government) wants to see to move to take action?" the former water resources minister asked.

"They (government) have no right to stay in power anymore because their attitude proves best that they had hands in the incidents," he said.