By Ed Diokno
We’re learning more about the U.S. college students killed in Bangladesh.
The three students were from India and Bangladesh studying at two prestigious American universities, so it was not surprising that during summer break they return to visit family and friends.
Their deaths at the hands of terrorists Friday (July 1) in Dhaka, Bangladesh plunged Emory University in Atlanta and the University of California, Berkeley into mourning.
Emory students Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain were among the dead. Kabir, a U.S. citizen from Miami, Fla., was a sophomore at Emory’s Oxford College who was visiting family and friends in Bangladesh. Hossain, a junior at the university’s Goizueta Business School, was a Dhaka native.
“The Emory community mourns this tragic and senseless loss of two members of our university family. Our thoughts and prayers go out on behalf of Faraaz and Abinta and their families and friends for strength and peace at this unspeakably sad time,” the statement said.
As we reported yesterday, also killed at the Holey Artisan Bakery was 19-year old Tarushi Jain, a native of India. Here’s a bit more about Jain. She was a sophomore at UC-Berkeley. Jain, an Indian national, was working on e-commerce growth at Eastern Bank Limited in Dhaka through an internship with UC Berkeley’s Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies. She began the internship in early June, according to a UC-Berkeley press release.
“We are all very devastated to hear the news about Tarishi Jain. She was a smart and ambitious young woman with a big heart. Our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and the entire Berkeley community,” said Sanchita Saxena, executive director of the Institute for South Asia Studies and director of the Center for Bangladesh Studies.
“She was just ready to take action and make change,” Rebecca Dharmapalan, 20, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “What’s hitting me hard is that she wanted to see so much happen there … she wanted to do everything she could for the people.”
Another Berkeley student, 18-year-old Chanakya Varma, told the Chronicle that Jain was “genuinely good person who brought out the best in people.” He added that her death would make the university “a less brighter place.”
UC-Berkeley plans a one-hour memorial vigil for Jain, to be held at noon Tuesday (July 5) in Sproul Plaza. It will also acknowledge the other hostages killed in the attack.
On Friday, several armed terrorists took control of the popular restaurant frequented by ex-pats and foreigners. By the time the standoff ended, 22 people, including six terror suspects, were dead.
News reports said that the attackers asked each hostage to quote something from the Koran, the Muslim holy book. If they could not, they were slain.
The siege ended when Bangladeshi commandoes, supported by armored vehicles, stormed the cafe, killing six attackers and capturing a seventh, while freeing 13 hostages. Two police officers were killed in an earlier gun battle with the militants.
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