He wanted to be a banker but a single incident on this day in 2011 changed his life forever.
A Rab team shot Limon Hossain, who used to work at a brick kiln to support his education, mistaking him for a notorious criminal it was looking for. His injured leg had to be amputated.
Rab personnel also filed two false cases against the then HSC examinee on charges of carrying arms and preventing law enforcers from discharging their duties.
In the face of a long legal battle, the government finally on July 11, 2013, issued a gazette notification withdrawing the cases. The then director general of Rab Mokhlesur Rahman also admitted that Limon was a “shootout” victim.
Fifteen months later, he was cleared of all criminal charges.
While stuck in the legal limbo, Limon changed his goal. He vowed to continue his study and be a lawyer. He wanted to fight for the people like him. He wanted to deliver them justice.
Defeating all the odds, the poor, meritorious boy is now on course to fulfill the goal. He has recently completed his LLB (pass) course from Gono Bishwabidyalay in Savar. He is all set to assist senior lawyers at a Dhaka court from April 1.
Thanks to the university, Limon did not have to pay any fees but had to work at a local food factory for three hours a day. He was paid Tk 100 daily and he met his other necessary everyday expenses with that money.
“I am thankful to everyone who stood by me in my struggle. I am grateful [to everyone]. Now it's my turn to help others. I want to work for human rights,” Limon told The Daily Star recently.
“In my childhood I wanted to be a banker but now I dream to study abroad. I would love to pass bar-at-law and become a barrister,” he said.
Limon, 22, said he was going to attend a six-month internship programme probably under Ain o Salish Kendra from next month.
The shooting on Limon in Jhalakathi's Shaturia village had sparked outrage across the country, especially from rights bodies and the media.
Citizens, under the banner of Limoner Jonno, Jiboner Jonno, also staged protest programmes demanding justice.
Centre for Disability in Development (CDD), a non-government organisation, provided him with a prosthetic leg free of cost. During the legal fight, Limon got backing of Human Rights Watch, National Human Rights Commission, Ain o Salish Kendra, and some other human rights organisations.
“Limon fought two fights simultaneously -- one to prove his innocence and the other against poverty,” said Akkas Shikder, a Jhalakathi court lawyer who has been supporting him since 2011.
The teachers at Gono Bishwabidyalay also praised Limon for his resolve.
“Limon always seemed determined. He was very serious about his studies,” said Rafiqul Alam, chairman of the Department of Law at the university. He wished Limon all the success.
On April 10, 2011, Limon's mother Henora Begum had filed an attempt to murder case with Jhalakathi Judge Court against six Rab personnel for shooting her son.
Akkas, Henora's lawyer in the case, said the trial was underway and the next hearing was on April 1 at Jhalakathi Additional District Judge's Court.
Limon says he still believes justice will be served and the culprits will be punished. In fact, he wants to assist Akkas in taking the Rab members in question behind bar. For now, the legal battle seems far from over.