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3 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 November, 2019 02:04:00 AM
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‘Negligence’ blamed for Rahat’s death

72hr ultimatum issued to meet students’ 4-point demand
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
‘Negligence’ blamed for Rahat’s death
Fellow students of Naimul Abrar Rahat, a student of Dhaka Residential Model College who died from electrocution during a Friday programme organised on the campus by Bangla daily Prothom Alo’s publication Kishor Alo, demonstrate in front of the institution yesterday asking the college authorities and Prothom Alo to meet their four-point demand. Star Mail photo

Mismanagement and negligence were the main reasons behind the death of Naimul Abrar Rahat, 14, a ninth grader student of the Dhaka Residential Model College (DRMC) in the capital, said many students of the college as well as guardians. The ill-fated boy died from electrocution originating from a power generator during a programme organied by Kishor Alo, a publication meant for the young and juvenile readers of Bangla language daily Prothom Alo, on the college premises on Friday.

Students launched protests on the campus and formed a human chain in front of the college yesterday, blaming mismanagement by and negligence of the authorities concerned for Abrar Rahat's death.

Meanwhile, the college authorities have formed a 3-member committee to probe the death of Abrar Rahat. The DRMC principal, Brigadier General Kazi Shameem Farhad, told the media that they have formed a 3-member probe body to look into the unfortunate death of Abrar Rahat. The committee has been asked to submit the report within the next seven days, he added.

When contacted by The Independent, the principal, through text message informed that the probe committee is headed by the college vice-principal, with two other professors as members, and it is set to submit the report by November 7.

When asked about allegations by some guardians that multinational companies are providing sponsorship in different programmes, while the organizers are neglecting safety concerns involving the students, the principal replied, “Negligence on safety matter needs investigation by the committee.

The death of Rahat drew massive criticism on various social media platforms, where people accused the Prothom Alo authorities and the DRMC of trying to hide the death incident, and for mismanagement at the event.

During yesterday’s protest, students issued a 72-hour ultimatum, asking the college and Prothom Alo newspaper authorities to meet their four-point demand. The demands are: handing over of the CCTV footage of the incident of Rahat’s electrocution to students; Kishore Alo issuing statement immediately admitting their liability in mismanagement at the function; handing over of the probe committee report to the students within 72 hours and the authorities concerned issuing a statement to the media, mentioning their negligence and mismanagement and stating that the death was not an accident.

Protesters also demanded a written statement by the doctor who had advised sending Rahat to a Mohakhali hospital, and a statement from the hospital authorities.

Abrar Rahat became unconscious after coming into contact with a live electric wire, and was taken to the Universal Medical College at Mohakhali, where doctors pronounced him dead on Friday evening.

The Independent correspondent also tried to enter the college premises, but was denied entry by the security staff. “Other than students and teachers, no one is allowed to enter the college,” said Faruk, a security guard posted at the main gate of the college.

A guardian of a student, on condition of anonymity, told The Independent that similar mismanagement and negligence prevail in most of the renowned schools and colleges in the city.

“A number of multinationals are roped in to sponsor various programmes of the college to increase their corporate footfall. But they barely consider the condition of the students. My son was forced to stay and work in one of such programmes for a whole day, and he fell ill. When I filed a complaint with the college authorities, they didn’t pay any heed. This is not just one incident. Many complaints have been made to the authorities concerned, but these seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Because of this mismanagement and negligence, a tragic death has now taken place,” the guardian said.

Meanwhile, Kishore Alo Editor Anisul Hoque has expressed "deep regret" over the death of Abrar Rahat in a Facebook post.

He visited the hospital and conveyed his condolences to Abrar Rahat's family. He said the family will always be a family of Kishor Alo and added that Abrar Rahat will be remembered forever.

After getting in contact with live electrical wire, Rahat was first taken to an emergency medical camp there and was checked by two FCPS doctors. They recommended that the boy should be taken to a hospital immediately, Anisul said in the post.

An investigation will be carried out following strict principles regarding the incident, Anisul added.

A teacher of the college, seeking anonymity, said: “The programme was organised by the Kishore Alo authorities. “We also have the same question - why didn’t they take Abrar Rahat to a hospital that was nearer,” he said.

The teacher said: “The organisers took Abrar Rahat to a hospital far from the institution, while there were many others in the area, including the Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital. This is because they had a contract with the Universal Hospital for the function.”

Abrar Rahat was electrocuted behind the stage set up for the “Ki Ananda” programme. The organisers took him to Mohakhali’s Universal Medical College Hospital (formerly known as Aysha Memorial Specialised Hospital), where doctors declared him dead.

Later, the police handed over the body to the family without post mortem examination on their request. Abrar Rahat's family, hailing from Noakhali district’s Sonamuri upozilla, resides in Agargaon area of the capital.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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