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    Volume 11 |Issue 30| July 27, 2012 |


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Human Rights

Photo: Star File

“I'm NOT a Terrorist”

Limon Hossain's travails seem endless. The latest charge brings to the fore the blatant wrath of a state agency against a powerless student, making a mockery of the rule of law.

Naimul Karim

At first, Limon Hossain's case was thought to be just one of those tragic tales we hear or read about everyday; bound to be lost somewhere in the long run. A random boy from a village, shot by the elite force, there were charges pressed against him and just like numerous other cases, both heard and unheard, Limon's too was following a similar pattern. It almost did, until the media intervened. With thousands of reports published, the Jhalakati-based youngster's case received country-wide attention and just for a moment it seemed as though justice would prevail. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

The scenario, on the contrary, has turned for the worse. Limon was recently charge-sheeted in a case against him in connection with obstructing law enforcers from performing their duties. It seems as though all the optimism regarding Limon's faith and the case, in the last 16 months, has merely fallen apart. Judging by cases in the past, the recent charge against the 17-year-old boy will be a mountain to overcome.

Despite the accusations and the listless bureaucratic procedures that he had to go through, Limon remains confident and vows to win the battle. “I haven't done anything wrong. No matter what charges they accuse me of; I'll come out victorious because I'm innocent. I'm not a terrorist,” asserts Limon.

Undeterred by the recent developments, Limon continues to concentrate on his studies. He'll be giving his intermediate exams next year. “I felt really bad when the HSC results came out this year. Many of my former batch-mates graduated. I could have been one of them, had my leg not been amputated. I lost one whole year.”

In pursuit of finishing school, Limon today lives with his mother in a village located three kilometers from his school. Once a hyper-active student, today the 17-year-old limps his way to school on his artificial leg. “Things get very difficult when it rains. The street on the way to school is muddy and it's not possible for me to walk on such roads. I try to catch a bus. It saves me time and money. But I can do that only when the conductors are patient enough to take me in,” narrates Limon.

Once he reaches school he faces a difficult hike up the stairs to his classroom. He takes help from his school-mates, only when he doesn't have a choice, he claims. “Once I reach the classroom, I just sit there till all my classes end. After that I straight away head for home. My school doesn't have high commodes in the toilets, so there's no way I can use them… I am usually permitted to go back home if I ever need to use the bathroom,” he explains.

There seems to be no end to Limon Hossain who was recently charge-sheeted in connection to obstructing
law enforcers from performing their duties. Photo: Star File

Despite the devastating debacles of his present reality, there remains an aura of optimism. Limon believes that his perseverance and hard work will pay off in the future. “I feel lucky to have gotten an artificial leg. Initially, I couldn't do anything. I couldn't, even stand up properly. Today, I can go to school on my own, I don't depend a lot on others. I believe in God and I know that there will come a day when he'll bless me for all that I have been through,” he says. He also claims that he has had lots of support from various quarters to take him through his troubles. “My friends have been extremely helpful. I have studied with them for years and they know that I am innocent. They have frequently fought for my cause,” says Limon.

He is however, extremely worried about his future. “There was a time when I could work and save enough money for my studies. Today, I'm a burden on my parents. They have to bear my expenses and they are getting old. They cannot support me forever,” he says. Limon is constantly in search of monetary support. “I want to continue studying after finishing school and I really hope that I get the funding for it. I believe that only education can change my future,” he adds.

But one doubts if Limon can ever achieve his dream. The fact of the matter remains that it has been 14 months since Limon's mother filed cases against six RAB officials for torturing her son and no significant progress has been made ever since.

Every evening, Limon sits next to his door and stares at the vicinity; almost as if he is waiting to get out of the shackles that he has been stuck in for the last year or so. “I just like staring outside… the tranquility in the evenings helps me remain calm and cope with my problems,” he says.

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