Seven dead bodies are lined up in bags on the balcony of the auditorium of the martyred freedom fighter Mohammad Hossain Bir Prateek of Hathazari Town Hall. Savita Dash was sitting next to her. There were tears in his eyes, but there was no sound of crying.
The bodies are those of his close relatives – daughter Rita Das, four grandchildren and two close relatives. With whom she might have been happy after a while, now Savita has lost the language to talk about them.
Since her husband was abroad, Rita Dash could not go to her father’s house for many days due to the busy schedule of her four children and family. After more than a year, the chance to visit father’s house came because of grandmother’s funeral. But that journey with children turned out to be Rita’s funeral.
Rita died along with her four children and two close relatives in a head-on collision with a bus at Hathazari in Chittagong on Tuesday.
Seven people died on the spot when an auto-rickshaw headed towards Fatikchhari collided with a bus coming from the opposite direction in the area adjacent to Charia Ijtema Ground of Mirzapur Union of the upazila around 12 noon on Tuesday.
The deceased are- Rita Dash (35) of village Joara Mohammadpur of Chandanish Upazila, her two daughters Srabanti Dash (16), Varsha Dash (7), twin sons Dig Dash (4), Digant Dash (4), Vasur’s son Biplab Dash ( 25), Rita’s husband’s cousin Chinu Das (50).
Among the victims, speech-impaired Srabanti is an SSC candidate next year, while Varsha was studying in class III.
Autorickshaw driver Biplab Majumder (28) and Bappa Dash (30), son of deceased Chinu, were injured in the accident. They have been admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital.
After the accident, the police and fire service recovered the body and brought it to the balcony of the auditorium of the martyred freedom fighter Mohammad Hossain Bir Prateik of Hathazari Municipal Headquarters. On hearing the news, Rita’s relatives and neighbors rushed there and the locals also gathered.
Rita’s younger sisters Diya Das and Runu Das were crying in one corner of the bodies lined up on the balcony.
Diya Dash told bdnews24.com that their grandmother died 11 days ago. Rita was going to her father’s house in Phatikchari Shah Nagar area with her four children and relatives from her in-laws’ house to attend his funeral on Tuesday.
“We two sisters went to father’s house yesterday (Monday). And Rita is supposed to go today with her children and relatives. Biplab, the auto driver near the house, was sent to Nahunpara area to fetch Rita. Accidents happen on the way.”
Dia said, Rita’s husband is an expatriate of Oman. He lived with four children.
Rita’s mother Savita Das sat down and said, “I asked them to leave yesterday (Monday) while talking on the phone. But didn’t come… Called me while leaving home in the morning and told me. This is the last word. Later I called, the police told me to come to the police station…
I rushed here after hearing about the accident,” said Savita Dash.
When Savita broke down in tears while speaking, her sister’s daughter Likhi hugged her.
Likhi said that Rita did not come to her father’s house with her small children. Last year, Vijaya came to her younger brother’s wedding the next day.
“Then he was coming again today. But before reaching all ends….”
On hearing the news of the accident, Bablu Das of Rita Vasur rushed to Hathajari from East Jora Mohammadpur.
He said that among the three brothers, Rita’s husband Narayan is the youngest. He lived in exile for several years. Rita has four children.
“Rita’s grandmother’s entire family was invited to her funeral. But they did not come because it was too far. My other brother Shambhu Dash’s son runs a laundry in Brij Ghat area of Biplab Nagar. He was also going to his aunt’s house in Phatikchari on the occasion of Dawat.”
Bablu also said that their cousin Chinu’s house is in Satbaria Union of Chandanish. Rita left home with her children around seven in the morning. Chinu also traveled with Rita along with their son on the way. And the revolution was going from the city.
Meanwhile, the bus was seized after the accident, but the driver escaped, said Inspector Adil Mahmud of Highway Pulil’s Nazirhat outpost.
Chittagong District Police Medical College Hospital Naik Noor Alam said that two injured people were taken to the hospital in the afternoon. Among them, Bappa is under treatment in ward number 2 and auto driver Biplab in ward number 28.