12/14/2009, 00.00
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Jhenaidah, independence hero killed over a debt of 3 euro

by William Gomes
The sum paid by a businessman for the manufacture of a fishing net. Mohammed Abdul Khalek had economic problems and was unable met the order. Beaten violently he died of his injuries. The murderer escaped;the population demands justice.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Killed for a debt of 300 taka (just over 3 Euros, ed), contracted with a local businessman for the manufacture of a fishing net. This is how Mohammed Abdul Khalek, 65, a war hero, famous for having fought for the independence of Bangladesh, met his death.  

The murder took place last December 11 in the south-western district of Jhenaidah. Khalek, protagonist of the struggle that brought independence to the country in 1971 earned a living by building fishing nets and headwear for Muslim faithful to use during the prayers.  

Habibur Rahman, son of the victim, tells that about a month ago, "Nasir Uddin, a local businessman, "had anticipated 300 taka for a fishing net”. The man, because of the extreme poverty besetting the family, used the money for personal expenses and was unable to meet the order.  

"Friday, December 11 - said Habibur Rahman - my father was returning from the mosque. Nasir Uddin stopped him on the street and demanded the money back. Khalek asked for a bit more time "to make the payment, triggering the "the man’s anger” who began to" beat him like a dog. "  

The war hero suffered serious injuries. Despite admission to various hospitals, his condition deteriorated. "Friday night at 10.45 - continues the son - his clinical condition precipitated”. The man died during transport from the clinic of Jessore to Baskhali in the district of Chittagong.  

Police in Jhenaidah have opened an investigation into the murder and is on the trail of the murderer, who has since fled. "We are doing our best – he commented - to find him."  

The funeral of Mohammed Abdul Khalek took place on 12 December. He was buried with full state honours. The entire local population are demanding that the murderer is caught. "It's sad - concludes Habibur Rahman – that in a free country people are killed like animals. If he died in 1971, fighting for freedom, I would not shed a tear. But die like that, tortured for just 300 taka ...”.

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