Shahidul Molla, who had gone missing during Sidr, returned home at Amragacchia village in Sharankhola upazila on November 12, 11 years after the devastating cyclone.
Villagers said Shahidul along with his father and two other fishermen—Masum and Selim—went to the Bay of Bengal in separate boats for fishing on November 15, 2007. All of them were washed away during the cyclonic storm Sidr that hit the country on that day.
Manju Begum, elder sister of Shahidul, talked about learning from local people that a mentally disabled man identifying himself as Shahidul has been roaming around Amragachhia Bazar. Manju went to the bazar and found that Shahidul was sleeping on a bench under the shade of a bus stand.“At first I could not identify him but after some time I came to recognise my brother seeing his cut mark on the left side of his forehead. Later, we took my brother back home,” said Manju.
The family of Shahidul was overjoyed to have Shahidul back though Shahidul’s father Phul Mia Molla and two other fishermen still remain missing. Panna Faraji, brother-in-law of Shahidul, said Shahidul has two daughters—Putul, 20, and Mukul ,18, and two sons—Masum, 17, and Masud, 11.
Having no whereabout of Shahidul, his wife Masuma Begum got married to another man and went to India for job purpose, he said.However, the family members of Shahidul claimed that he has lost his mental balance as he fumbles while talking. He cannot remember from where and how he reached Amragachhaia.
Jakir Hossain Khan Mahiuddin, chairman of Khontakata Union Parishad, said, “It’s good news that Shahidul has returned. Shahidul’s name was put on the missing list made after Sidr. Steps will be taken for his medical treatment.”According to government’s official account, some 695 people were killed while 76 people went missing in Sidr that lashed the upazila on November 15, 2007.