Bhuvan Sheel: A shooting, a death, many broken dreams

Police today (25 September) arrested a person allegedly involved in the shooting incident.

Ratna Rani Sheel and her daughter Bhumika Chandra Sheel spent most of the last seven days sitting on the stairs on the seventh floor of the Popular Medical College Hospital.

It was a vigil unimagined.

Besides the stairway, lay the ICU, where Ratna’s husband was fighting for his life with a bullet lodged in his head.

At 11:00am on Monday morning, Ratna’s watch came to an end. Doctors declared that her husband, Bhuvan Chandra Sheel, 55, had succumbed to his injuries.

“He was shot in public,” Ratna said.

“We gathered all the money we could to help him live. The surgery was done on Saturday. But now, he has left us forever,” she told The Business Standard.

Bhuvan, a legal consultant, was the primary breadwinner in his family.

His wife Ratna Rani works as teacher at a high school in Noakhali’s Maijdee area. Bhumika, has just passed her SSC.

Bhuvan’s untimely demise to a hail of gunfire wasn’t due to any previous enmity.

It was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On 18 September, Bhuvan became one of the two collateral damages of a shootout by miscreants targeting a top terror in the Tejgaon area.

For Ratna, her tribulation has, perhaps, only begun.

Promises unkept

With Bhuvan gone, Ratna now worries about the future as all responsibilities have shifted on her shoulder.

“Uncertain days are waiting for us,” said Ratna.

Ratna said she is physically ill. The family were supposed to go to Chennai, India on 30 September for her treatment.

Bhuvan had promised her that they would visit a few pilgrimage sites for a week after the treatment. They used to talk about it almost everyday.

With Bhuvan’s death, most of Ratna’s dreams have also faded.

“Bhuvan’s ailing mother is yet to know about his death. She needs medicines of around Tk10,000 per month. How will I run the family?” said Ratna.

But for now, her primary concern is her daughter.

“My daughter can’t walk around holding her father’s hand anymore. I can’t explain that feeling. No father should leave the world with his daughter behind this early,” she said.  

Demanding justice for her husband’s killing, she said, “We do not know who shot my husband. What we do know is that my husband is no more. I demand that the state hangs the killers.”

Bhuvan’s brother-in-law Polash Chandra Sheel, however, expressed doubt about getting justice over his death.

“Not one government official visited or contacted the family in the last seven days.”

Costly treatment

According to Bhuvan’s family, they had already spent over Tk7 lakh for his treatment and are now in need of support from the government.

Following the shootout, Bhuvan was immediately rushed to the hospital and put on life support for a week.

The doctors had performed a surgery, but his condition deteriorated and the bullet in his head could not be removed.

“The surgery was done to stop brain hemorrhage, but Bhuvan’s physical condition was not ready for bullet removal,” said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University former vice-chancellor and neurosurgeon Professor Kanak Kanti Barua, who conducted the surgery.

Collateral damages

Ratna filed a case with the Tejgaon Industrial Area police station against seven to eight unidentified assailants over the shootout that took the life of her husband.

Seven to eight attackers launched an attack on Dhaka’s top terror Tariq Sayeed Mamun, who recently got released on bail, near Bangladesh Government Press in Tejgaon Industrial Area while he was returning to home from Moghbazar by car.

Bhuvan, along with another passer-by Ariful, became collateral damage to the attack, suffering bullet and stab injuries.

Mamun is an accused in the film actor Sohel Chowdhury murder case.

Police are yet to identify and catch any suspect over the incident, said Dhaka Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner for Tejgaon Industrial Area Arif Raiyan.

Earlier on 24 March 24 last year, Motijheel Awami League leader Jahidul Islam Tipu, who was in a microbus, was killed in a targeted killing at Shahjahanpur of the capital.

During the assailants’ indiscriminate firing, Samia Afrin Priti, a 22-year-old college student at Begum Badrunnesa Government College, who was returning home by rickshaw, was also shot and killed.

One arrested 

The police yesterday arrested a man named Maruf Billah alias Himel (38) from Old Dhaka in connection with the random firing targeting Mamun. 

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Tejgaon Industrial Area Assistant Commissioner (AC) SM Arif Ryan confirmed this.

According to investigation sources, Maruf Billah is known to Mamun. 

They have known each other for about 10-15 years. On the day of the incident, he called Mamun several times to get the location. He was also present at the scene.

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