Interview: Shahidul Alam and Rahnuma Ahmed
Transcript: Saydia Gulrukh Kamal
Translation: Hana Shams Ahmed
Interview of Rafiur Rabbi, father of murdered teenager Tanvir Mohammad Toki of Narayanganj. from Shahidul Alam on Vimeo.
Transcript of interview of cultural activist Rafiur Rabbi of Narayanganj. The body of Rabbi’s teenage son, a brilliant student from Narayanganj, was found in the river. He had been tortured. It is generally felt in Narayanganj (as Rabbi himself feels), that this was done by Shameem Osman, considered the godfather of Narayanganj, to stop Rabbi from impeding his (Shameem’s) business.
The murder of Toki follows a similar pattern where over the years, people who have resisted activities by Shameem Osman’s family have been murdered.
Shahidul Alam: Rabbi bhai. A father who has lost his child, it is very difficult to question but I am questioning you because, you are a special person, your role is different, we do not see Towki as your child only, we see him as our child too, we see him as Bangladesh?s child, and that is why we need to find out. If you could tell us a few things about Towki at first.
COME AND JOIN 29TH MARCH PROTEST RALLY! RAISE YOUR VOICES, ITS NOW OR NEVER!!
Shongkhubdho Nagorik Shomaj: Protest Rally Against Taqi Murder on Wednesday March 29 at 4pm at Raju Bhashkorjo, Dhaka University.
Seventeen year-old Tanwir Muhammad Taqi, a meritorious A-level student, was found dead on March 8, 2013, two days after he had gone missing, on the banks of the Sitalakhya river in Narayanganj. He had been brutally murdered.
I have seen photos of his dead body, they bear the marks of gruesome torture. Other activist friends Taslima Akhter (photographer, garment labour activist), Shahidul Alam (photographer) and Saydia Gulrukh (anthropologist) who have, like me, seen the photographs, have spent sleepless nights.
Taqi (name spelt variously in the press) was admired and loved and not known to have enemies.
But his father, Rafiur Rabbi did, and does. A public figure widely respected for his honesty, fearlessness and uncompromising stance, Rabbi has led innumerable social and people power movements; cumulatively, they challenge the tight grip of Shameem Osman and his family, who are Narayanganj’s “godfathers”, who have ruled the port city for 3 generations through payoffs, kickbacks, violence and terror.
Narayanganj city’s popular mayor Dr Selina Hayat Ivy and Rabbi (convenor, Narayanaganj Ganajagoron Mancha; vice president Narayanganj Nagorik Committee; convenor, district level National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports?) ? have publicly held Shameem Osman and his family responsible for the killing, the most recent of nearly fifty over the last one and a half years.
The reign of terror must STOP! Play your part. Come and join the rally.
Rahnuma Ahmed, writer, columnist
Professor Naseem Akhter Hussain, Jahangirnagar University
Professor Anu Muhammad, Jahangirnagar University
Masud Imran, teacher, Jahangirnagar University
Mahmudul Sumon, teacher, Jahangirnagar University
Nasrin Khandoker, teacher, Jahangirnagar University
Arup Rahee, singer, poet
Shipra Bose, development activist
Taslima Akhter, photographer
Udisa Islam, journalist