For the first time, Saleha Begum of Jhenaidah has come to Dhaka. However, she has not gone to Dhaka University where her son studies. Instead, she is now going to the police and the court for her only son, quota reform activist Rashed Khan.
She went to the office of the Detective Branch (DB) of police to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) headquarters to Shahbag police station and to the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) court, begging her son’s release from 10-day remand.
Saleha Begum was talking to this correspondent at a restaurant in Shahbag on Tuesday.
Dhaka University’s finance and banking department student Rashed Khan was taken to the DMP office from thenDB office yesterday morning. Saleha Begum was waiting at the main gate of the DB office to see her son. She was taken aback to see her son in such a situation.
She is anxious as o whether Rashed Khan, an accused in three cases, will be released and be able to take over responsibility of the family. She is struggling to meet expenses.
“Forgive my son, please, I beg to you. I won’t keep him in Dhaka any longer. I’ll take him to the village,” she laments.
Rashed Khan is the joint convener of Sadharan Chhatra Odhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad (Bangladesh General Students' Right Protection Council), a platform constituted seeking reform of quota in public services. His father is a mason and mother, a housemaid. He has two sisters.
Rashed has always made them proud. He received government and bank scholarships in the PSC, JSC, SSC and HSC exams while his parents provided remaining expenses.
“If Rashed called up asking for money to buy his books, his father would even return rive from the house o arrange the funds. We passed many a night drinking water only,” Saleha Begum said.
“I had sold a goat for Rashed’s admission in the MBA. I thought with the completion of his studies our days of our sufferings would end,” she said.
Responding to a question about meeting her expenses in Dhaka, Saleha Begum said they had saved some money for treatment of his father’s kidney disease. “I’m spending from that money.”
The case documents provided by Saleha Begum to this reporter said Rashed was accused in a case filed under the much-talked-about section 57 of the ICT Act.
Besides, police accused Rashed of planning and instigating students of Dhaka and other universities and colleges to attack the residence of Dhaka University vice chancellor with iron rods, metal pipes, hammers and sticks to vandalise, loot and set fire to goods and the CCTV cameras on the night of 9 April.
Rashed was serving the interests of a vested quarter, police claimed.
However, Saleha Begum said, “My son hasn’t committed any crime. He just wanted a job, a government job. Why would, then, he wage a movement to topple the government?”