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Bangladesh Siege – The Curious Case of Faraaz Hossain – A Hero or a Villain?

Written by Niladri Bose

Ever since the deadly attack in Dhaka a few days ago, multiple theories related to the attackers and victims are surfacing every day. One such case is of Faraaz Hossain, a young man who refused to leave his friends, despite given a chance by the terrorists and chose to die with them instead. Understandably the local and the international media are praising the courage of this man. Even social media is abuzz with pictures and heroic interpretations of his sacrifice. However, there are also a few relatively smaller news outlets and blogs that are accusing of Faraaz being one of the terrorists and worldwide praises for him as whitewashing of truth planted by his influential family.

As we sit down to summarise both sides of this story for you, we must issue a disclaimer that our intention is not to hurt anyone’s sentiments in this difficult time, neither to circulate conspiracy theories but to seek the truth, only the truth. We will present to you, facts, details and claims from both sides as they’ve surfaced so far and let you decide for yourselves. So let’s get right to it:

That fateful evening at the Holey Artisan Bakery, Faraaz Hossain, it has been said, was catching up with two friends, Abinta Kabir and Tarishi Jain. Farazz1 They all went to school in the U.S. but were either visiting family in Bangladesh or there on internships. After the terrorists stormed the bakery, their intention was clear – they wanted to kill non-Muslims or at least those who did not fit their definition of Muslims. Popular version from most media houses is that, at one point, Faraaz was told that he could leave but his two female friends couldn’t. He decided against it and was killed along with his friends as a result of his defiance. When his family received his body after the deadly siege, they noticed the palm of his right hand had been sliced through.

The family also claims that there were other wounds that indicate that the young man had grabbed the sword of one of the attackers and tried to fight back. During the siege, they called Faraaz repeatedly, but he didn’t pick up the phone.

Zaraif, his elder brother, also sent Facebook messages, which were marked as “seen” until about 12:30 or 1 a.m. After this, there was no communication between him and his family.

But this is one side of the claims, albeit adhered to by most people. And if it is to be believed, Faraaz Hossain was definitely one gem of a guy and deserves every bit of our respect. However, we also need to analyze the other side which is fast emerging as a possibility.

Faraaz was the grandson of Latifur Rahman, Chairman of Transcom Group and a powerful man in Bangladesh. Counter-views allege that it is because of this connection that the real story is being hushed Faraaz3up with a powerful hand rubbing all the stains off the dirty cloth. A video has emerged from during the siege, showing a terrorist near the glass-doors of the bakery. The original owner of the video was a neighbour of the place and his identity and current whereabouts are unknown.

Anyway, this particular terrorist resembles Faraaz’s descriptions, thus creating a barrage of questions – If the authorities killed 6 terrorists and captured one, why have they released pictures of only five dead-bodies? Why are names of only five people released to the media? It is now emerging that the chef of the bakery was killed by the authorities by mistake. If that was so, then why was his body being portrayed as the 6th terrorist? The original video was promptly taken down as well. What remains on YouTube as of today is a shortened version of the same that other users managed to capture, edit & re-upload.

These are the two contradictory versions of the story that have been doing rounds in social media for the last few days. Which one is true?

What to believe and what not to? Was Faraaz Hossain really a hero or one of those terrorists? Was this a random attack of a bakery or a meticulously planned one? Honestly, we are not sure. So, we’re going to leave it at that & let you, our esteemed readers, take a call, if you so choose to.

What we do know, however, is that this was a crime against humanity and everyone who committed this heinous act or are involved in suppressing the truth, if at all, will be judged, one way or another.

Do let us know of your thoughts in the comment section below

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