Saturday, July 2

Dead body of Jihad recovered



Twenty-three hours into his fall, body of four-year-old boy Jihad was recovered from a deep well shaft at Shahjahanpur in Dhaka despite the authorities’ repeated expression of doubt that there was anyone inside.

Doctors to Dhaka Medical College Hospital confirmed the child was “brought dead” around 3:30pm.

Three volunteers made the recovery over 12 hours into announcement by State Minister for Home Asaduzaman Khan Kamal and Director General of Fire Service that no human being was found in the shaft.

The volunteers, who worked at the collapsed Rana Plaza, used a locally developed metal-rod cage to pull the child.

There are marks of injury in his body and the child was not moving when he was pulled out of the well shaft, our correspondent reports from the spot.

Angry over the authorities’ slow move to rescue Jihad, locals demonstrated against State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and officials of the Fire Service.

Earlier, Abu Sayeed Raihan, joint director of National Security Intelligence, termed the news of Jihad’s falling in the shaft as “rumour” after seeing images sent by Dhaka Wasa camera.

In the morning, the rescuers tried to send a special case at the bottom of the well in a bid to pull out the baby boy allegedly trapped inside the well shaft. A camera has also been attached with the case made with iron rods.

Despite their renewed efforts since 9:30am, the fire fighters, who have been conducting rescue operation since yesterday, failed to send the “catcher” at the bottom till 11:00am.

Meanwhile, police picked up Jihad’s father Nasiruddin and brought him at Shahjahanpur Police Station in the morning to get information from him, said Belayet Hossain, a sub-inspector of the police station. 

Nasiruddin was at the police station till 1:40pm when the report was filed.

Jihad allegedly fell inside the 17-inch diameter shaft, around 40 yards from his house in Shahjahanpur, at about 4:00pm yesterday while playing with other children.

The fire brigade personnel employed various techniques one after another, including lowering in a sack tied with a rope, hoping to pull out the boy but failed.

The camera completed its slide into the hole around 2:00am but there was no sign of the boy. The monitor showed some ragged clothes only.

“From what we have seen from the footage of the camera, we can say there is no-one there,” State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters around 2:45am today, almost 11 hours after the rescue operation began.

“We are yet to find the boy. But we are still trying and we will lower in the camera again,” fire service Director General Brig Gen Ali Ahmed Khan told reporters at 3:00am at the site.

“Though we can’t see any human being there, we are not wrapping up our operation. We will remove the debris to be certain,” said Ahmed.

There was confusion also about the depth of the well shaft at Shahjahanpur Railway Colony in Dhaka. The state minister for home said it was about 253 feet while some individuals who as well sent a camera down the pit put the depth at over 600 feet. 

A high-powered camera early today failed to locate a four-year-old boy who allegedly fell into an abandoned well, prompting officials to doubt whether the child had at all fallen into the hole.

The latest development gave rise to speculations whether the child fell at all into the well at Shahjahanpur Railway Colony.

In a second attempt, non-government experts sent another camera around 4:00am. It got obstructed again after reaching 240 feet, private television channel Ekattor TV reports quoting rescuers.

After NSI joint director Abu Sayeed Raihan termed the news of Jihad’s falling in the shaft as “rumour”, State Minister Kamal’s said that no human being has been seen inside, which made the shocked family of Jihad aggrieved.

Jihad’s mother Khadiza Begum, who was wailing all the while, rushed to the spot.

“Please don’t stop the rescue operation now. Please get him out of there,” she started to cry at the top of her voice.

She, at this time, pointed out that the rescuers told her about hearing Jihad’s voice from the well and sending in juice and torchlight.

“How can the boy, all of a sudden, just vanished from there?” she cried.