fowl…the police… and the journalist
Ali Khan and Ambreen Morshed
lived a fowl in a farmer's house in a small village called
Kathalia under Kowkhali Upazila in Pirojpur 250 kilometres
from Dhaka. Alamin the twelve year old son of peasant Moshin
looked after the bird that weighed nearly two kilograms
and demanded a lot of affection. The unusually large spotty
bird followed Alamin everywhere. The family grew fond of
the friendly bird that moved slowly and displayed prominence
amid other hens and fowls that the family reared and earned
from eggs and livestock. After school Alamin would return
home to find the spotty bird rushing towards him. He would
run his hand into the earthen paddy reservoir of the family
and offer the bird a handful of grain.
disaster struck one day. As Alamin was playing with some
friends, two boys appeared on the scene. They were the sons
of two powerful men of the area and they bullied every child
of their age. Without any reason whatsoever the boys asked
Alamin and his friends to leave the playground immediately.
When Alamin refused, the boys knocked him down to the ground.
Alamin's playmates fled as fast as they could. While one
of the bullies pinned Alamin to the ground, the other charged
him with a full-size brick uprooted from the nearby road.
The two held Alamin's right hand fully stretched against
the ground and repeatedly struck it with the brick. When
the two proudly walked off the scene Alamin lay there unconscious
with multiple fractures in his hand.
poor Moshin rushed Alamin to the Upazila hospital three
kilometres away, doctors found seven serious fractures all
around his hand. They wondered if ever again the first boy
of class seven would be able to use his right hand. For
the poor peasant family the nightmare had only begun. Moshin
was already struggling to feed the family of four, how could
he bear the expenses for the treatment? He went to Kowkhali
police for justice. The police refused to file any case
and asked Moshin to go away. Poor Moshin begged for money
everywhere but no one came forward. He immediately needed
to take Alamin to a specialised hospital in Bagerhat, about
40 kilometeres away.
the same village at the time a Dhaka based journalist was
passing holidays at his ancestral house. The journalist
sent one of his men, Abdul Baten to the weekly haat
in Kowkhali to buy several fowls, which he would take to
Dhaka. Baten returned from the haat with four huge
later, a sad Moshin sat at the village tea stall where the
journalist was also having tea. Just then Abdul Baten came
walking towards the stall.
man," said Moshin to the stall owner pointing his finger
at Abdul Baten, " did me a great favor by buying my
son's fowl for as much as I demanded."
yeah, I paid you even twenty taka more when you told me
your story," replied Baten.
is the story?" asked the curious journalist overhearing
Moshin narrated the story adding that Alamin was then at
the hospital virtually without any treatment.
you been to the police station?" asked the journalist.
people who did this to my son are very powerful, police
would not accept any complaint against them," replied
were soon made to send Alamin to Bagerhat. The journalist
also assured Alamin that his fowl would be returned to him
when he got better.
next day the journalist telephoned the Superintendent of
Police (SP) of Pirojpur.
SP gave a patient hearing but got furious when he heard
that his men in Kowkhali refused to accept the case.
hold on while I talk to the officer right now on wireless,"
said the angry SP.
following is the overheard conversation between the SP and
the Sub inspector.
this is the SP speaking…..pass me on to Sub-inspector
Jashim" (not his real name)
yes sir, this is sir SI Jashim Speaking sir, over,"
cracking sound came through the wireless.
a man named Moshin come to you yesterday begging for justice?"
sir yes he did sir," replied the frightened SI.
did you kick him out, you…. son of……..
now listen, you accept the case, arrest those criminals
and contact me ….."
later, in the presence of the police, a village salish decided
that the offenders would bear all expenses for Alamin's
treatment and apologise and only then the case against them
would be withdrawn.
months later Alamin resumed his studies at the local school
and kept working harder to catch up with his studies. He
returned the money of the sale and formally gave the fowl
to the journalist as a gift. "I have a small request,"
said the little boy to the journalist, "can you send
me a photo of my bird?"
fowl now lives in Dhaka happily surrounded by beautiful
(R) thedailystar.net 2004