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Mohiuddin's qulkhwani

Ten killed in tragic stampede in Ctg

photo by NN Photo

At least ten people were killed and 50 others injured in a stampede during the Qulkhwani of late former Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury at Rima Convention Centre in Chittagong on Monday.

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19th-Dec-2017       
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Md Joynal Abedin Khan :
At least 10 people died and more than 80 others injured in a stampede  when the invited guests rushed to the port city's Rima Community Centre on Monday to attend the qulkhwani of Mohiuddin Chowdhury, former Mayor of Chittagong City Corporation.
In observance of the qulkhwani of the noted Awami League leader, the mezban programme was arranged at 14 venues across in the city for people of all communities on Monday. Of which, mezban was arranged for non-muslims at Rima Community Centre, Masood-ul Hasan, Additional Commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP), told The New Nation on Monday evening.
The critically injured men were admitted to Chittagong Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) and some local clinics for treatment. The death toll might be raised as the admitted eight persons have been kept at life-support, hospital and local sources said.
The deceased are Shudhir Das, 45, Jhontu Das, 45, Krishna Pada, 40, Dipankar Das, 25, Alak Bhowmik, 36, Pradip Das, 50, Liton Dey, 53, Titu, 32, Dhonashil, 65, and Ahish Barua, 45, the sources said.
On the occasion of the qulkhwani, Mohiuddin's family arranged mezban for 80,000 people in the city. But around two lakh people have taken part in the qulkhani, said Mohammad Osman Ghani, personal secretary of late Mohiuddin Chowdhury.
Meanwhile, Awami League lawmaker ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury said the government will give Tk 1 lakh compensation to the each family of the deceased.
Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Zillur Rahman declared to give Tk 25,000 to the each deceased families and Tk 5,000 to the injured. "If needed, we will increase the amount of compensation."
Mohibul Hassan Nowfel, elder son of Mohiuddin Chowdhury and an organising secretary of the ruling Awami League, visited the hospital after the incident and he announced to give Tk 1 lakh each to the family members of the deceased as compensation and extra Tk 5,000 for their cremation. He
also said the family will bear the medical expenses of the injured.
CMP Commissioner Iqbal Bahar said, "The tragic incident took place while invited guests were scurrying to take part in the qulkhani programme at the Rima Community Centre in at Jamal Khan area.
He claimed the narrow gate of the community center is key cause behind the dead.
He rejected the allegation of inadequate security measures of police for the pre-announced crowdy programme.
The CMCH police outpost In-Charge Johir Uddin said: "Currently, the 11 injured are being treated at the hospital. Four of them are in critical condition."
He said that Rima Community Centre was specially allocated for Hindus, Christians and Buddhists.
He also said that that the death to is likely to increase.
Witness Mithun Palit said: "I went to the community centre with two of my younger brothers. There are two gates at the centre, one of which was closed at the beginning.
"The incident took place when the second gate was opened at 1:00pm and people tried to enter through it in a hurry." Jashim Uddin, deputy assistant director of Chittagong fire service and civil defence, said: "Eight of them died on the spot while two others died when taken to the hospital. Swarup Rai and Nripen Sarkar, two volunteers who worked at Rima centre, blamed the police for their negligence that led to the incident.
Deceased Shudhir's nephew Mithu Das also blamed the organizers of the program for the incident.
The other venues for mezban include The King of Chittagong in Panchlaish area, K Square Community Centre at GEC intersection, Kisholoy Community Centre at Chawkbazar, Swiss Park Community Centre in Pancchlaish R/A, Swaronika Community Centre at Love Lane, N Mohammad Convention Hall in Muradpur area, KB Convention Hall at Bakalia, BIP Banquet Community Centre and Sagarika Square at Kazir Dewry and Golden Touch Community Centre in Double Mooring area.
On December 15, Mohiuddin Chowdhury passed away at Max Hospital in the port city at the age of 73.

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