Sinha’s dream will live on, says Shipra

  • SM Nadim Mahmud, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-08-13 11:38:40 BdST

Shipra Debnath, a student of Stamford University in Dhaka with a passion for filmmaking, came across Sinha Md Rashed Khan during their visit to Sunamganj’s Tanguar Haor, months after he retired from the army two years ago.

The duo became friends and eventually formed a team for a travel docuseries. The other members included Shahadul Islam Sefat and Tahsin Rifat Noor.

To begin with, they made some videos on smartphone in Naogaon’s Altadighi in March and April as part of their project Just Go, a YouTube channel.

The team finally chose Cox’s Bazar as a location to film the travel documentary as the district has the sea, beach, hills and forests among other attractions for travellers.

They rented rooms at Nilima Resort in Himchhari and began filming videos on Jul 13 after taking permission from the district administration.

On the night of Jul 31, Sinha and Sefat were returning to the resort in Sinha’s car after filming a time-lapse video of the evening stars. Shipra was waiting for them.

The wait never ended.

Police shot Sinha dead at a checkpoint on Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive on their way back to the resort and arrested Sefat in two cases over the alleged recovery of drugs from the car and the death of the retired army officer. Shipra was also arrested on drugs charges the same night. 

The police claimed they opened fire when Sinha pulled his pistol after obstructing a search of the vehicle. But their account raised a flurry of questions, leading to a separate investigation into the incident and the arrest of nine policemen in a murder case started by Sinha’s family. Shipra and Sefat were freed on bail this week.

“Someone, somehow, is trying to steal our dream, for which we have done so many things, faced so many odds. We want to keep the dream alive. We want justice,” Shipra said during an interview with bdnews24.com on Wednesday.     

She declined to comment on the case, citing the sensitivity of the investigation. “I’ve bottled up everything -- with so much pain in my heart. I want to tell everything to everyone. But I’m allowed to speak only about Just Go.”

“I won’t let die Sinha’s dream, which he dreamt until his death,” she said.

“Why was Sinha killed? Why were we arrested? We want justice."

SHARED DREAM

Shipra said she might have been the first to think up Just Go, but Sinha, a very intelligent, creative and wise man, espoused the same dream after she shared it with him. “Our relationship was based on mutual understanding and intellectual friendship,” she said.

The team used to work 18 hours a day doing a challenging and adventurous job. “When two persons become friends, they must have things in common. That’s exactly what happened between us. When I said ‘Just Go’ jokingly, Sinha gave it a long thought and said ‘Just Go’ was better. That’s how we named [the channel].”

Through Just Go, the team tried to raise awareness about reading books and removing plastic waste from different sites. But the team did not have a lot of money for the project. Sefat had the camera, while Saif was handling the technical side of the project.

They had planned to start uploading videos officially after Aug 15 and set aside Tk 40,000 for publicity. After Sinha’s death, the team rushed and opened Just Go, the YouTube channel of Sinha’s dream.

“We will try to share Sinha’s dream through this channel.”