Everyone’s shaken up after the brutal attack at the Dhaka restaurant which resulted in the death of 20 innocent people. Messages of shock, despair and outrage flowed in from people across the world, as people shook their head in disbelief at the attack that happened soon after Istanbul airport attack just a couple of days back.
People called out to humanity and the basic tenets of Islam that speak of peace and brotherhood while condemning the brutal nature of the attack in Dhaka late on Friday night. Social media – as always – became a medium to send out the love and tears of people affected and horrified. Among those, one of the voices that has touched the hearts of many is of Kolkata-based professor Aloke Kumar.
Kumar, who was friends with one of the victims of the Friday night attack – Dhaka-based HR professional Ishrat Akhond – wrote a heart-rending eulogy to Ishrat, condemning the attackers and remembering his friend.
“My friend Ishrat was brutally tortured and killed by terrorist in a Dhaka restaurant yesterday when she was there with several Italian Fashion Designer.
Most of the Muslim Bangladeshis were spared after they identified themselves and recited lines from the Koran. Ishrat who was not wearing a Hijab and neither wanted to prove herself was hacked to death with a machete”, he wrote in his Facebook post, which has subsequently gone viral with hundreds of shares and reactions from people across the world.
Kumar, who is a professor of communication at the University of Calcutta, goes on to talk about the other victims, including Indian student Tarishi Jain. Here’s the full text of his post:
“ISHRAT no more
My friend Ishrat was brutally tortured and killed by terrorist in a Dhaka restaurant yesterday when she was there with several Italian Fashion Designer.
Most of the Muslim Bangladeshis were spared after they identified themselves and recited lines from the Koran. Ishrat who was not wearing a Hijab and neither wanted to prove herself was hacked to death with a machete.
Twenty other foreign hostages were also hacked to death with sharp weapons by terrorists during a dramatic siege at an upmarket Dhaka restaurant that ended in a bloodbath today morning.
The majority of the victims were from Italy and Japan. There was one young girl. A student from India Tarushi Jain. No Britons have yet been confirmed among the casualties. Two Sri Lankans and one Japanese hostage were rescued, along with around a dozen Bangladeshis.
Six of the attackers were shot dead and one captured during the raid on the Holey Artisan Bakery, an expatriates’ favourite.
I am devastated on hearing the news as I was in touch with her periodically. She had come down to Calcutta last September and we had discussed my possible Lecture tour of the Universities of Bangladesh. This was scheduled to begin in the Fall Semester.
Usually my notes are long but today I have run out of words.
Love you Ishrat, wherever you are.”
Not only has the post received an overwhelming response from friends who knew Ishrat, but also those who were outraged at the attack. One Facebook user quoted a passage from Les Miserable, which seemed very apt: “Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”
Another called out people to do something, questioning whether there will be a fallout of all this outrage, or will this post remain as just another Facebook memory.
Though there is much truth to the agitated list of questions by the latter Facebook commentor, what this post brings to the fore is that there are friends beyond borders and beyond religion. Maybe there is humanity yet, that will win this war against terrorism.