Will we get justice? asks Fulpori’s mother

Fulpori Khatun returns home on her father’s van. This picture was taken in Dilalpur of Pabna town on 19 February 2023.
Towhidi Hasan

The mother of Fulpori Khatun, who was tortured by the Chhatra League leaders at Islamic University (IU), Taslima Khatun, has asked, “Will we get justice?”

“Why did they do it with my daughter? My daughter was very frightened. She never said anything wrong. They wanted to kill my daughter,” Taslima Khatun said when these two correspondents visited her home in Shibpur village in Pabna’s Atghoria upazila on Sunday.

It was a home with corrugated-iron sheet roof and jute-stick fences on all four sides. During the visit, these two correspondents met Fulpori Khatun’s mother and two brothers, but Fulpori Khatun accompanied by his father Ataur Rahman went to Pabna town at that time.

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Ataur Rahman, who is a van puller, is the lone breadwinner of the family. Neither he nor his wife Taslima Khatun went to school.

“We have experienced lots of hardship, but we educated our children so that they never suffer like us. There were many struggles, but we never backed off. With their education, our children will have jobs and then alleviate poverty of the family," the victim's mother added.

On Saturday, Fulpori Khtun told the university inquiry committee everything about torture by BCL woman leaders. She told Prothom Alo on that night, "I did nothing wrong and so I will not silently tolerate any misdeeds, injustice or oppression."

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Fulpori Khatun’s elder brother Hazrat Ali stays at home now after completing his post-graduation from Rajshahi University in 2022. Her elder sister Hosneara Khatun is studying at world religion and culture department at Dhaka University while her younger brother Omar Ali is an SSC candidate from local Shibpur Secondary School.

While talking to these correspondents, Hazrat Ali burst into tears. He said his father could not buy new dresses for them during Eid. It was hurting, yet he aimed at building an honest life with his siblings, Hazrat Ali said.

When these correspondents left their home for Pabna town, mother Taslima Khatun asked again, “Will Fulpori be able to study at the university peacefully?”

Van puller Ataur Rahman is a known face among neighbours because of his children. Neighbour Moriam Khatun said Ataur Rahman has given education to his four children very well. People from this area are proud of them, she added.

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These correspondents met Fulpori Khatun on the road. She was returning home from her uncle's house riding his father’s van.

Father Ataur Rahman said he has been paddling this van for 29 years. He also cut logs and weaved cloths. He purchased this battery-run van 10 years ago after taking loan on instalment. He even sold six decimal of land from his homestead for the education of his children.

Speaking about the courage, Ataur Rahman said, “We are honest and we will follow the path of truth. If any injustice happens, we will protest it and that is why I have educated my children.”