‘He did nothing wrong’: Shooting death of Narayanganj restaurant manager plunges family into despair

Kajol was fatally shot during an altercation between his boss and the building owner over the payment of utility bills

Sourav Hossain SiamNarayanganj Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 8 Feb 2023, 09:04 AM
Updated : 8 Feb 2023, 09:04 AM

As the news of her husband's death rang out from the local mosque's loudspeaker after Asr prayers, Asma Zaman covered her ears in disbelief. Her eldest daughter, Nusrat Zaman Shrabon, cut a dejected figure next to her, while her younger child, Tasnia Tarannum Ikra, cried herself to sleep.

That was the scene on Tuesday at the home of Shafiul Alam Kajol, general manager of Sultan Bhai Kacchi, a restaurant in Narayanganj’s Chashara, who was fatally shot at his workplace.

Kajol, 47, died on Monday at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, a day after the shooting, which occurred during an altercation between his boss and the building owner over the payment of utility bills.

Kajol was a native of Kushiara village in Narayanganj. He lived in a flat with his wife and two daughters. Shrabon, 18, sat for the HSC exam this year, while Ikra, 11, is a fifth grader.

Back at their home, a despondent Asma was surrounded by relatives who tried to console her. But it did little to alleviate the grief and distress stemming from the loss of her husband, the breadwinner of the family. Asma could not hold back her tears.

“My husband was the only earning member of our family. He worked in the restaurant for many years and got a raise recently. We were looking forward to better days. All my hopes and dreams are shattered now. Everything is gone. I don’t know what to do with my two daughters,” Asma said after composing herself.

“I had a picture-perfect family. My husband was a family man. He always took care of us and paid attention to the education of our daughters,” a tearful Asma added.

Although they were middle class, the family never felt they lacked anything, she said.

Demanding punishment for her husband’s killers, Asma said Kajol did not have any personal enmity towards anyone. “He did nothing wrong. But they shot him dead for no reason. They didn’t just kill a person, they destroyed a family. My only request is that the killer is hanged.”

Daughter Nusrat was very close to Kajol. On Jan 12, she organised a birthday party for her father at their home. Kajol was moved to tears by his daughter's gesture. Little did she know it would be her father's last birthday celebration.

“My father loved us [the two sisters] a lot. When we went to bed, he used to come and check if we were properly tucked in. If he was busy working at night, he would call and speak to me. I can’t believe my father is gone. I feel so helpless,” Nusrat said as tears rolled down her cheeks.

Even on Sunday, the day he was shot, Kajol told Nusrat not to worry about her HSC results. “Who will I share my results with now?” Nusrat said.

The owners of Sultan Bhai Kacchi and the building it was housed in were embroiled in a feud over the payment of utility bills, according to restaurant staff. At one point during an altercation on Sunday, building owner Azhar Talukdar took out a pistol and a shotgun.

Azhar opened fire and Kajol was struck by a bullet. He was initially taken to the Narayanganj 300-Bed Hospital and later transferred to DMCH.

On Monday, Shukkur Ali, the restaurant owner, filed a case of attempted murder over the incident. Police arrested Azhar and his son, Arif Talukdar, who were subsequently placed on a two-day remand for questioning.

Currently, they are interrogating the arrestees and treating the case as one of murder, said Anisur Rahman Molla, chief of Narayanganj Model Police Station.

Police also seized the pistol and the gun licensed under Azhar's name.