On August 1, 2017 Lafiqul Islam Ahmed, the President of ABMSU was shot from a close range and killed in a shop in Kokrajhar. This cold blooded, calculated murder shocked the entire state. People across religions came out to condemn this murder and demand justice. The unity exhibited was unprecedented. While Lafiqul worked diligently his entire life to achieve this very unity, tragically it was his death that succeeded in enforcing it.
However this unity which was a beacon of hope was rather short lived. After Lafiqul’s death, ABMSU members wanted to pay their last respects to their slain leader. But the administration to avoid any untoward incident insisted on handing over the body to the traumatized family. This was happening when demands for CBI enquiry into the death and immediate arrest of the culprit was doing the rounds.
Lafiqul’s younger brother, Mohidul made it clear that their family psychologically were not ready to accept the dead body and ethically it was wrong to do so as Lafiqul’s larger family was ABMSU. In a heated conversation with the administration he stated that the harassment he and his family are facing is being recorded and he won’t hesitate to take it to international media and to media in Middle East. The entire conversation is recorded. However, the media selectively cherry picked two words ‘middle east’ and started building a different narrative. Grief stricken Mohidul’s outburst at the failed state administration became the threat of a ‘dangerous person’ with connections with dubious circles. While Mohidul immediately clarified his stand in a Facebook post, he continues to be hounded.
One must ask why was the media so hell bent on belittling Lafiqul’s contributions and his death by shifting the focus to something not very relevant? Lafiqul’s death threw some difficult questions – the alleged nexus between cow smugglers and local police administration, the law and order situation in BTAD and the availability of illegal arms in BTAD. A sustained movement would have forced the government to address these issues. In such a case was the circulation of an incomplete video aimed at dismantling a united fight and used as a diversionary ploy?? These are questions one must ponder upon.
Written by Parveen Sultana
‘It was just a few hours after my elder brother was brutally murdered that I had an argument with the district administration and I might have uttered some words unintentionally. My brother was my everything and his murder has shattered me and my family.
Overlooking the pleas and legit demand of CBI enquiry raised by my brother’s supporters and our family, the district administration was forcing us to accept his body. The police force came to our home with huge security force. The situation was so emotionally charged that I feared the police might even lathi charge. Hence I requested someone to make a video so that there is record of police activity and attitude towards us. In a highly insensitive manner, the district administration left the body outside our home unattended.
Apparently at the heat of the moment while arguing with police officers I uttered the word ‘Middle East.’ However I intended to say that I will circulate the video of police action to every media to stress how we are alienated even in our death. It is sad that the word ‘middle east ‘ was cherry picked while igonoring the larger issue of denying us a fair, unbiased enquiry into my brother’s death.
It’s very sad that I have to issue a clarification on something I said unintentionally in a highly emotional state when I was shattered, shocked and broken. We still have our faith in an independent investigation and hence are demanding a CBI enquiry. I appeal to all to not twist the issue and divert attention from the main issue’.