Limon – a fighting spirit

Md Limon Hossain, a young boy was wronged. He was shot by the members of RAB and taken to custody on the false accusation that he is a wanted criminal. His leg was amputated. Following the event, he fought for justice; he fiercely struggled to prove his innocence. Limon is now a determined law student. Sabiha Anjum spoke with him about his struggle and determination.

 

Very rarely nightmares become a reality. Md Limon Hossain was one of such boy who lived a nightmare and survived it victoriously. In 2011, teenager Limon was just another college boy, cherishing dreams like making a name for him. On March 23, 2011 his life came to a halt, a dark episode began when he was wrongfully accused and shot by the members of Rapid Action Battalion.

Md Limon Hussain was born on 15th of January in 1995, at a village situated in Jhalokathi, Barisal. His father is a poor farmer and his mother is a housewife. Among two brothers and one sister, Limon is the third child of his parents. Although living in poverty, Limon and his siblings had interest in education. He started his study in 2000 in Saturia Community Primary School at the age of five. In 2005, he was admitted to Saturia M M high school. Limon had to face so many barriers in his study. When he was in VII, he was almost dropping out of school due to economic problems. But he didn’t give up. He worked as a day labourer to manage the expenses for his education. In 2008, he took admission in Kathalia Bohumukhi High School and College. Limon’s only inspiration was his mother who struggled a lot to educate her children. There were so many days when they did not have food at home. They spent days in starvation and so many times in his life he just had boiled water lily shoots. In 2010, Limon sat for his Secondary School Certificate examination from Kathalia School and obtained GPA 4 out of 5. Later, he took admission in college.

On that fateful day, March 23, 2011, around 4 pm when he went to the field to bring back cattle with his mother, he became the victim of RAB shooting. Members of RAB, a paramilitary security force, accused him of being a criminal and shot Limon on his left leg, took him to their custody as a wanted criminal. He had cried for help, begged for his life and requested them to talk to his teacher which would prove his innocence but they didn’t care. They didn’t even listen to him. They shot him at point-blank range on his left leg. Four days later, Limon’s leg was amputated in order to save his life. For medical reasons, he was not able to return home for more than six months.

RAB filed two cases against Limon, these are stated below:

The first case (First Information Report- FIR No. 10 of the Rajapur police station, dated 23 March, 2011) was registered under Sections 19 A and 19 F of the Arms Act-1878. In this case DAD Lutfor claimed that a group of terrorists of the Shahid Jomaddar’s gang opened gun fire targeting the RAB team when the latter reached Shahid Jomaddar’s house. RAB responded by firing from their own pistols and stenguns. The terrorists escaped except one person named Limon, who had a bullet wounds in his left thigh, with a USA-made pistol and magazines in his possession.

15965301_1325904830765232_1The second case (First Information Report- FIR No. 11 of the Rajapur police station, dated 23 March 2011) was registered under Sections 322, 353, 307 and 34 of the Penal Code-1860 for obstructing the law-enforcement agencies to discharge their duties and attempting to murder.

In both complaints the RAB’s DAD Lutfor claimed Limon’s age as 25 years which was a blatant lie since he was just a college student and, according to the official records Limon’s age is 16 years and 3 months only. They have also insisted the hospital staff to record the same age for Limon when he was brought to the Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barisal. Moreover, it is heard that the commissioner of the National Human Right commission requested the hospital authority to keep Limon some more days for treatment but the authority didn’t pay heed to him.

Although Limon comes from a poor family, his parents never gave up, they fought for justice. In spite of having so many threats from various places, they continue to struggle to prove their son’s innocence.

10856449_1522389781373759_4Finally, after months and years of legal battle, cases against Limon was dropped, false cases filed against him was closed. The court decision came 15 months after the government decision to withdraw both the cases filed by the Rapid Action Battalion.

‘The verdict has proved that I am innocent, but I am not very happy. I will be happy when the RAB personnel responsible for shooting me will be brought to justice,’ Limon said. He strongly feels the RAB members who have done this heinous act to him, who had shot him to disability should be punished. He asked, why shouldn’t the government bring RAB members to justice? Are they above the law?

This innocent boy has to undergo this painful dark episode in his lifetime. This is not only an unpardonable injustice to an innocent boy from a rural village, but also an example of crude human right violation committed by RAB members. In spite of face such violence, Limon has excelled in life. The violence and the dark time could not break him. Learning to leave again after the amputation, adjusting with the physical challenge was not easy, but he did it. Threat from law enforcers, injustice, poverty, oppression, fear and pressure couldn’t stop him. He started biking again.

Limon is now a law student at Gono University, Savar. His aim in life is to become an honest lawyer and be a human rights advocate. Besides studying, he also takes part in various social activities. He goes to rural districts with winter-relief. He is also involved with many other voluntary activities. Limon taught us, nobody can change the direction of the wind, but can adjust his sails always to reach the destination.

 

Sabiha Anjum is a student of Jahangirnagar University.

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