Dhaka cafe massacre: As Bangladesh mourns, a fallen hero is hailed

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Dhaka
  • Updated: Jul 04, 2016 10:28 IST
Bangladeshis light candles and sing songs as they pay tribute to those killed in the attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka on Sunday. (AP)

Three Bangladeshis who were killed in Friday’s deadly terror attack in a restaurant in Dhaka’s affluent neighbourhood were either renowned members of society or from powerful business families of Bangladesh, including the grandson of the owner of country’s largest newspapers. Two of them were studying in the US while Ishrat Akhond, the thrid victim, was a promoter of art .

Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain and Abinta Kabir, the two young students killed in Friday’s attack, were visiting Bangladesh to spend their vacation with family. Hossain was the grandson of Latifur Rahman, chairman of the Transcom Group and owner of the country’s leading dailies Prothom Alo and Daily Star.

Hossain, a student of Emory University in Atlanta, US, drove to the Holey Artisan Bakery with his friends Kabir and Tarishi Jain from India.

Read: Son of senior Awami League leader among Dhaka attackers: Bangladesh media report

Kabir’s family owns a popular retail outlet , Lavender Super Store, in Dhaka’s Gulshan area. Her mother owns Elegant Group, a large business house with investments in textile and apparels.

“Abinta, who was from Miami, was a rising sophomore at Emroy’s Oxford College. Faraaz, a junior from Dhaka, was a graduate of Oxford College and a student at the university’s Goizueta Business School,” the Emory University said in the statement.

Prothom Alo newspaper reported that Hossain was allowed by the militants to leave the restaurant safely after the attack but he refused to do so leaving his friends behind. He is being praised widely in social media for his sacrifice for friendship. “Faraz...brave boy! What a sacrifice!!!!Cannot stop my tears...,” wrote Kakoli Tanvir, a reader of a story posted by Prothom Alo newspaper.

When asked about Akhond, TV show host Shammy Wadud told HT: “Oh, she was a lovely person, very caring. She was like an elder sister to me. She is like always smiling face.”

Read: Dhaka attackers spared hostages who could recite Quran verses: Survivor

Akhond had a good network of friends in the media and the artistic circles, Wadud said. She was associated with Institute of Asian Creatives and Dhaka Art Centre and few other institutions curating modern art.

A former employee of the country’s leading mobile phone company, Grameenphone and an ex-official with the five star Westin Hotel, Akhond studied Human Resource Management at Australian Institute of Management.

Her friends from media and other sectors posted many photos and condolence message on social media. “I was supposed to meet her yesterday. But I could not as my driver was sick. I told her: ‘Ok, see you next week. This next week will never come, did any of us think that?” Nadia Islam, a close friend of Akhond, wrote on Facebook.

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