Bangladeshi Expats Anxious about Relatives Back Home

ABU DHABI / DUBAI — The whereabouts of the relatives of some Bangladeshis in the UAE remain uncertain following the revolt of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) force over a pay dispute.

By Anwar Ahmad And Sajila Saseendran

Published: Sat 28 Feb 2009, 10:12 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:34 AM

These relatives were working with the Armed Forces in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi expatriates haveapproached their missions in the UAE. Over half-a-million people reside in the country and the missions are ready to help and share whatever information they have.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on Thursday, Bangladesh Ambassador to the UAE, Nazmul Quaunine urged the community to maintain calm and support others in this ‘very critical situation’. “But things are under control,” the envoy said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hasurged all within and outside the country to stay calm, the envoy quoted her. “Basically we are having difficultyin gettinginformation about those killed in the revolt as we are at a very crucial stageof negotiation,” Quaunine said. “All ourinformation nowis coming from the media,” the envoy said.

“Official figures say around 15-16 people were killed. We would be able to ascertain the actual situation late on Friday,” Quaunine stated.

“Thisis avery unfortunate incident. So far, our government has successfully takencontrol ofthese rebellious forces to lay down their arms,” he added.

Vice-principal of Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia Private School in Abu Dhabi Mir Anisul Hasan, said, “I am a victim of that mutiny and I am in no mood to talk now, as my wife’s brother’s whereabouts are uncertain. My wife is not well.”

Amna Khaishgi, a residentof Dubai, said, “Since morning, I have been trying to get news about my cousin who is employed with the Bangladesh Rifles. It’s a trauma. I approached Bangladeshi missions in the UAE to get some information about him but theydeclined to comment.”

“This is a very bad sign for our country. It’ll be very damaging if it spreads to other areas. I hope that it gets settled soon. A similar mutiny had happened in 1972. But this seems to be worse than that,” said AKM Saifullah who works with Korea Trade Centre in Dubai.

He said he suspected “some external hand” behind the mutiny. “I think there was some conspiracy against the government and the mutiny happened because of external instigation. We want the government to investigate that,”he added.

Afifa Lodi, a teacher living in Sharjah, said she received the news of the death of some of her relatives and acquaintances in the army late onThursday night.

“The body of my second cousin Col. Aniss Zamman was retrieved from a river. They also got the body of the father of my nephew’s close friend. The search is on for the bodies of my sister-in-law’s first cousin, and my brother’s close friend. All of them were high-ranking officials in the army.”

She said she was upset about people guarding the country resorting to violence. “I’m also concerned about the innocent people living in the areas near the BDR Headquarters. We want a permanent solution to these problemsimmediately,” she added.

Some expatriates said they were unable to contact their relatives after the mobile networks were shut downon Thursday.

“My family is safe, but I have some friends living near Pilkhana. I couldn’t get them on line. I hope all are safe and the mutiny gets over soon. There should not be any bloodshed,” said Suvimal Paul, chief architect with Dubai International Airport.

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