Mad politics and an inconsolable mother

College-goer’s 8-day battle ends in death
As Ovi had been lying mostly unconscious on a hospital bed for over a week, his mother Noor Jahan had wished he would say a few words to her.

He could barely open his mouth, leave alone utter any words. He was battling a grave injury he sustained from a crude bomb that had landed right on his face blowing off a portion of his left cheek. Little wonder he could only make gestures when he was somewhat conscious.

Mother of Sanjid Hossain Ovi, who died of bomb blast wounds, cries her heart out at the Burn Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday.

Noor Jahan had waited day and night beside her 19-year-old son to hear him speak. But the eleventh grader died in the early hours yesterday at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital before he could say anything to his mother.

Sanjid Hossain Ovi was an arts and humanities student in the capital’s Kobi Nazrul Islam Government College. A pro-blockade picket had hurled the bomb at him at Phulbari on January 14 when he was on his way to his Laxmibazar home in the old part of Dhaka.

“He wanted to be a lawyer. His grades in school were very bright,” said his mother while tears rolled down her cheeks.

His poor father sells boiled eggs at Sadarghat and his mother is a homemaker. Ovi used to support his own education working part-time at a computer service shop. He earned Tk 1,500 from his job which he spent over his tutor and other educational expenses, said Noor Jahan.

“I cannot count how many days I fed him rice only with green chilli. He’d ask for fish curry which I seldom could afford. I’d often lament saying I’d feed him fish next time,” she said, wailing and recalling her hardship.

“Our relatives often suggested arranging a job for him to support the family. But neither my son nor I was interested in such an idea before he finished his studies,” said Noor Jahan, who had already lost her daughter, the eldest of her three children, three months ago.

Ovi was her second child. Her youngest son is only one and a half years old.

Sources at the DMCH morgue, where his autopsy was conducted, said Ovi died from a head injury.

While talking to this correspondent, Noor Jahan alleged that her son had not received proper treatment at the DMCH.

Quoting doctors, she said her son needed treatment at the intensive care unit (ICU) but when she approached the ICU staffs on Wednesday they refused to admit him, saying no empty bed was available.

They asked her to come three or four days later, she said.

The DMCH ICU Chief said there were no beds available during that time and it was against the hospital rules to shift a critical patient to make place for another.

Relatives said although the government announced that it would bear all treatment costs of blockade victims, Noor Jahan had to spend around Tk 25,000 to buy medicines.

Contacted, DMCH Deputy Director Moshiur Rahman said they would bear all the medical expenses if any blockade victim or his family met the hospital authorities with related documents.

Meanwhile, teachers and students of Kobi Nazrul Islam College yesterday formed a human chain in front of the campus, protesting Ovi’s death and terming him “a victim of the country’s ill political culture”.

After a namaz-e-janaza at the college premises, Ovi’s body was sent to his ancestral village in Munshiganj for burial.


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