Lies and Empty Threats
generating much hype and a widespread rumour, the Awami League
(AL) General Secretary Abdul Jalil's infamous prediction fell
flat on April 30. It was months ago, while giving an interview
to the NTV, the beleaguered leader had predicted the fall
of government by April 30. The government, on the other hand,
driven by extreme paranoia and sheer arrogance, indiscriminately
detained innocent civilians in the name of national security.
The much talked about "trump card", which Jalil
had vowed to use "in an appropriate time" did not
see the light of day either.
deadline was almost over on April 29, a visibly unperturbed
Jalil told the newsmen, "It may take little more time
but when we'll play the trump card we'll achieve the goal."
have already started comparing Jalil with the famous shepherd
in Aesop's fable for creating a hoopla out of virtually nothing.
It seems Jalil is enough to put the AL's half a century old
history of democratic polity at a higher stake.
devastating fire at a slum in Keraniganj on April 29 killed
four children and razed all 285 tin-roofed houses on an acre,
leaving about 2,000 people homeless. The two-hour blaze broke
out from the earthen burner in a house close to the entry
to the 29 year-old slum in Charkhejurbagh. According to newspaper
reports, the fire started at around 10:00 am. Frightened residents
including children trapped inside the enclosure, barely 10
metres from the riverbank, struggled to escape the fire but
the small exit was not enough to allow scrambling crowds to
come out in time.
said to a Daily Star correspondent that the fire engulfed
the entire slum in a few minutes, as a sudden blow of wind
sent the flames spreading fast across the dense shanties.
Firemen from Sadarghat arrived on the scene in speedboats
and hired trawlers about half an hour after fire started.
They tried to hose down the raging blaze with water jets from
four pipelines linked with two boat-mounted water pumps as
thousands looked on.
Islam, the deputy director of the Dhaka Division Fire Brigade,
told The Daily Star, "If we had accessed the area by
road we could have saved 90 per cent of the houses".
The area was gutted to the ground and in the wake of the infernal
fire, many women were seen searching through the rubble hoping
to trace their children. Many said that they could not trace
their children even three hours after the fire. A women named
Salma lost both of her daughters in the fire. Another woman
named Monwara went to the nearby construction site to crush
brick leaving her two under-seven sons back home. She sought
help of the firemen as her sons went missing.
Hossain is the owner of the land, who live off the rents from
the shanties. Nazir used to collect 70,000 in house rent a
month from the slum. Still, Mohammad Baby, his brother informed
the investigating journalist that Nazir cannot afford compensation
to the victims. "The local people will be providing shelter,
food and drugs for the victims until the government comes
up with relief," Baby said. Meanwhile the victim had
to wait till 4 pm for food and no medical help was in sight
by that time. The Daily Star correspondant did not see a single
medical team at around 4:00 pm.
are Bristy, 7, Akash,3, Sagor, 5. Many burnt patients were
treated in Mitford Hospital.