Nepalese students of Jalalabad Ragib-Rabeya Medical College pose for a photograph at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport before their departure for Kathmandu on Monday. They along with eight other fellow students boarded the flight of US-Bangla Airlines for a vacation home after MBBS final exams. Photo: Collected
The auditorium of Jalalabad Ragib-Rabeya Medical College was lined with candles, flowers and photographs yesterday evening.
Several hundred students attended the vigil and observed a one-minute silence in memory of their Nepali friends killed in Monday’s plane crash.
The campus has been reeling from shock since the tragedy. As academic activities remained suspended, only a handful of students and teachers wearing black badges were seen talking softly in otherwise empty corridors in the afternoon.
“We, the Nepali students, usually travel together when we go home. Our final professional exam was over just two days ago, and they were supposed to be called doctors once the results were published. But we are counting bodies instead,” said Shubhas Acharya, a Nepali student, who was supposed to be on board the plane, but failed to book a ticket on time.
The 11 Nepali students of the college, who died in the crash, were in his class. He and several other remaining Nepali students are scheduled to leave for Kathmandu today.
His friends Sanjay Poudel and Anjila Shrestha, who died in the crash, were seeing each other for several years and had been planning their marriage.
“I am lost for words. They made little plans about things to do in the vacation that started a few days ago,” Shubhas said.
The college started its three-day mourning yesterday, said the Principal Prof Abed Hossain.
“We suspended all classes and exams and put our flag at half-mast,” he said, “We are also trying to contact the families of the students who were killed.”
There were 13 Nepali students of 19th batch in that plane.
Forty-four Nepali students were admitted in the batch in 2012. The college had about 250 Nepali students.
The students on board the ill-fated plane were Sanjay Poudel, Sanjaya Maharjan, Neega Maharjan, Anjila Shrestha, Purnima Lohani, Shweta Thapa, Meeli Maharjan, Saruna Shrestha, Algina Baral, Charu Baral, Samira Byanjankar, Ashna Shakya and Princy Dhami.
Tanzim Nahiyan Sourav, a student of the class of 2013, said, “We do not know what to say to our Nepali friends.”
Nahid Tarana, manager of a super store near the campus, said she was shocked to see the familiar faces in the news.
“They had been a jolly bunch, always smiled, laughed, and did everything together. It is really sad that they died just before becoming doctors,” she said.
Students of Park View Medical College in Sylhet also held candle light vigil on campus in the evening.