Sunday, April 14, 2024

Mourning at schools today

Condolences pour in; case filed against helper-turned-driver
Educational institutions across the country will today mourn the loss of 44 lives in Monday’s road crash in Mirsarai of Chittagong.
As condolence poured in from across the country, ministers and education officials yesterday rushed to Mirsarai to condole with the bereaved families.
No words were soothing enough for the victims’ families and friends who took out mourning processions and gathered at the playground of Abu Torab Bohumukhi High School, which alone lost 33 of its students in Monday’s truck plunge.
Earlier on Monday night, Kabir Ahmed Nizam, chairman of Mayani union parishad, filed a case with the Mirsarai Police Station, accusing Mofiz, who was at the wheel of the truck.
Police have yet to trace Mofiz, who fled the scene by swimming across the ditch where the vehicle plunged.
Mofiz, a helper of the truck owned by Haji Rice Mill, was in a hurry to return to the mill as he was supposed to go to Feni to bring rice for the mill, Habib, head operator of the rice mill, told The Daily Star.
Of those dead, 42 were students and two locals. Identity of one of the two locals could not be learnt till 8:00pm yesterday.
Thirty-three of those dead were students of Abu Torab Bohumukhi High School, three were students of Abu Torab Government Primary School, two of Abu Torab Senior Madrasa Govt Primary School and two of Abu Torab Fazil Madrasa. There were two HSC students from Prof Kamal Uddin Chowdhury College.
Our correspondents report from Mirsarai: No class was held yesterday at the educational institutions in four unions of Mirsarai–Mayani, Moghadia, Khoyachhora and Shairkhali.
On the first day of a three-day mourning programme announced by the upazila administration, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid and Industries Minister Dilip Barua joined a rally at Abu Torab High School.
Standing in front of the shell-shocked families, students, teachers and locals, the education minister burst into tears.
“We are taking many steps for the betterment of the country’s education as well as for the students. But will it be worth if the students lose their lives in such tragic accident?” he said in a choked voice.
Nothing can meet the huge loss, he said, adding: “We have come here only to share our sorrows with you. The whole nation is with you at this sad moment.”
He announced Tk 25,000 as compensation to the families of each dead victim and Tk 5,000 for the injured from his ministry.
Dilip Barua announced to set up a monument in the locality in memory of the deceased students. He declared that his ministry will give Tk 10,000 to each of dead students’ families and Tk 5,000 to the injured.
Prof Md Noman Ur Rashid, director general of Directorate of Secondary and higher Education and Nurul Huda, chairman of Chittagong Educational Board, were present at the meeting that ended around noon.
The ministers later visited the houses of 20 victims’ families in three different unions.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sayed Kutub said that 12 of the victims’ families received financial aid from relief and rehabilitation ministry yesterday.
The industries minister had already handed them the money he had announced for the victims, he added.
Meanwhile, the education ministry issued an order yesterday directing students, teachers, officials and staff of the institutions to wear black badges and pray for the eternal peace of the children.
A release of primary and mass education ministry said it directed primary schools across the country to hold milad and doa mahfil at their schools today, seeking peace of the departed souls of those killed in the road accident.
On January 31, 2003, a road accident at Baluchhara area in Bayezid Police Station in the port city killed 11 young cricketers. A three-wheeler auto tempo carrying the cricketers from Firingi Bazar to Fatehabad High School ground when a human hauler from the opposite direction collided head-on, killing the 11.


Courtesy of The Daily Star

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