I was then working at private television channel NTV and assigned to cover the anti-terrorism rally of the Awami League on Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital. My cameraperson and I took a position on the first floor of the adjacent Ramna Bhaban to get a better view avoiding the huge crowd.
Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina had just completed her speech and we were preparing to come down to shoot a procession, which was supposed to begin after the rally. All of a sudden, we heard multiple blasts which almost froze me. However, our camera crew kept rolling.
Confused people were screaming and running all over the place. Collapsible gates of our building were being shut down. Fearing we might be trapped inside the building, we came down hurriedly where we met horrific scenarios – people running and weeping for help.
We saw the injured lying on the street. Some were rushing to escape the scene but collapsing just after a few steps – their dresses soaked in blood. Others were trying to rescue them.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Hasina was surrounded by her party leaders and escorted to her bulletproof car from the temporary stage on an open truck.
The extent of casualties was unclear. Law enforcers standing nearby were firing blank shots and lobbying teargas shells. We managed to sneak out into the Osmani Udyan. The agitated mob then started vandalising vehicles on adjacent streets.
All these happened in just a few minutes. I called my office and narrated the shocking incidents briefly before we rushed for the first-hand report. We were lucky to have exclusive footage.
My colleagues in the media appreciated me for the close footage and coverage of the deadliest attack I had ever witnessed. But I did not want to be a "famous" reporter for covering deaths and wounds of this scale. Even I do not want to recollect the horrific memories of that day.