Talha embodied the spirit of courage and inspiration. His stance was against injustice. Though he sacrificed his life, he showed a way for all the youths to live a life of courage -- this is how Talha's teachers, friends and family remembered him yesterday.
Khandakar Abu Talha, a second year student of Daffodil International University (DIU), fell prey to muggers near his home in the capital's KM Das Lane on Sunday morning. The muggers snatched away his mobile phone and money brandishing sharp weapons.
That could have been the end of a regular mugging story and he could have joined his class at the university. But there was more to it.
A minute after he got mugged, the criminals stopped another rickshaw. Two locals, who were on it, started shouting for help and Talha responded.
Talha grabbed one of the muggers from behind, the mugger stabbed him in his hands and then in right thigh. He succumbed to his injuries at Dhaka Medical College Hospital around 8:00am.
Remembering the 19-year-old, the university authorities yesterday introduced a scholarship in his name and handed over a cheque for Tk 5 lakh to his father.
The DIU students also formed a human chain in front of the main campus on Mirpur Road around 11:30am protesting the killing. They also demanded immediate arrest of the criminals. No one was arrested till yesterday.
At the programme, Talha's father, Khandaker Nuruddin, deputy manager of JBF Digital Trading Company Limited, said, “My son always helped others without asking for anything in return.”
“Even on that day, Talha greeted me before heading out and told me to take care. He also told his sisters to study…now all I have left is his memory…,” Nuruddin was having difficulties finishing his sentence. Sabur Khan, chairman of the university, said, “…Talha's act of bravery is rare. We want to keep on remembering him.”
The DIU authorities said they will take an initiative to nominate Talha's name for the “Faraaz Hossain Courage Award” this year.
The purpose of the award is to recognise acts of exceptional courage by individuals setting examples of empathy for fellow human beings, to encourage the spirit of bravery among youth, the very spirit that Faraaz inspires.
Twenty-year-old Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain refused to desert his friends and was brutally killed by terrorists during the July 1 terror attack last year at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka.