As quota reform movement leader Rashed counts his days in a 10-day police remand, his hapless mother is trying to do whatever possible to release her son.
Saleha Begum, 50, yesterday begged to the prime minister to release her only son. “Dear prime minister, you are a mother. I am too. I beg for my son's release. Please cancel his 10-day remand. Please withdraw the cases.”
A distressed Saleha struggled to hold back tears at a press conference in Crime Reporters' Association of Bangladesh, in Segunbagicha.
“He took part in a logical movement. His movement was never anti-government. But a vested quarter turned this in a different way… We don't know he would pay such a price,” a sobbing Saleha told journalists.
“My son is a general student. He was not involved in any politics… My husband is a day-labourer and our family runs on his earnings,” she added.
Muhammad Rashed Khan, joint convener of quota reformists' platform Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad, is an MBA (Banking and Insurance Department) student of Dhaka University.
He was detained from the capital's Bhasantek on July 1, as law enforcers took a strong position against quota reform activists.
He was shown arrested the same day in a case filed under the ICT Act.
The case was filed with Shahbagh Police Station by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) law affairs secretary Al-Nahian Khan Joy.
On July 8, he was shown arrested in another case filed for ransacking the residence of the DU vice-chancellor in April, although his name was not included in the first information report (FIR).
Saleha came from Jhenidah to Dhaka for the first time on July 1, and has been wandering from police station to DB office to the CMM court every day, trying to get her son out.
“On Tuesday, I met my son at DB office. He looked devastated, and kept telling me 'please ask them [police] to not beat me. Please bring me out from remand,'” Saleha said.
She earlier met Rashed at a Dhaka court, before he was taken into a 10-day remand on July 8.
“He was handcuffed the entire time,” Saleha said as she broke into tears for the umpteenth time.