Omar Sheikh, a 22-year-old young man from Gopalganj, hails from a lower-income family of six members.
His father Kamal Sheikh, who sells woodin Bamondanga area of Muksudpur upazila, entertaineddreams of bringing about a change in his family'sfortunes by sending his son abroad.
Liakat Ali Sheikh, a local middleman from the Gohala Union,presented the family with a proposal of sending Omar to Libya. The already poor family paid Liakat Tk4.05 lakh for making a dream come true.
With three other relatives, Omar left his home for Libya on January 21 this year.
They went to India through Benapole land port, and then flew to Libya from there. Five days after he set out on his journey from home, Omar phoned his family and told themhe hadreached Libya safely.
Omar and the other men had been in Benghazi for the last four months. A group of local miscreants illegally detained 38 Bangladeshis earlier this month, including Omar, for ransom as humantraffickers were escorting them from Benghazi to Tripoli across the desert in search of work for them.
Among the 37 killed and wounded Bangladeshi migrants in Libya, 15 were from Madaripur, 9 from Kishoreganj, and the restwere from other districts.
Omar, who is among the 11 wounded Bangladeshis, is now undergoing treatment at a hospital in Tripoli.
Although Libya's labour market has remained closed for the last five years, people such as Omar have nevertheless gone there with the help of human traffickers, using routes spanning different countries. Many of them have had dreamsof going to Europe through Libya.
"According to the migrants wounded in Libya, they used a route through India,the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to reach the country," said Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, secretary to the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment.
Human traffickers and their local middlemen are taking advantage of people by exploiting their dreams of reaching Europe through this route.
Libya is an important way station for people attempting to reach Europe by journeying across the Mediterranean.In May last year, around 39 Bangladeshis died on the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe.
A month later,an inter-ministerial committee, headed by the Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry, was formed to investigate the incident following a High Court order.
"The committee then submitted the report to the High Court. I will lookinto the report and recommendations in detailas soon as possible,"said Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen.
According to BRAC's Migration Programme, human traffickers are still active in different districts, includingSylhet, Sunamganj, Noakhali, Madaripur, Shariatpur, Kishoreganj, Gopalganj, Magura and Chuadanga, despite the tragic incident which took place just a year ago.
Addressing the issue, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Friday said, "We had given the list of traffickers to the administrations of various districts following the tragic incident last year, and steps were taken against them.
"But now the traffickers have become active again, and we will expand the list further," added the minister.
The Business Standard has been speaking to family members of the deceased and wounded migrants in Libya.
Jamal Sheikh, brother of wounded migrant Omar Sheikh,said, "My brother and three other relatives went to Libya through local middleman Liakat. He took extra money from us during the last four months for providing food to my brother there. Thena gang attacked my brother.
"When my brother was being kept in captivity by the miscreants, they demanded Tk12 lakh as ransom. Omar sent voice messages to us frequently, asking us to save him from the gang. But we didn't have enough money.We had sent my brother to Libya by taking out loans."
Jamal added, "My mother fell sickwith worries after receiving news that a gang had captured my brother. The whole family is now in a miserable state."
Responding to a query, Liakat Sheikh, the middleman who servesas a UP member of Gohala Union, said, "I sent Omar and four others from my area to Libya througha Chittagong-based businessman named Abul.
"My cousin Jewel, who has been living in Libya for the past eight years, coordinated the whole process. Among the five people I sent to Libya, only Omar faced danger.But we tried to protect him. I am not a trafficker and I did not take any extra money from Omar's family."
Liakat added that heusually sent people to Malaysia through a recruiting agency.
The Business Standard also got in touch with the motherBakul Hossain, a wounded Bangladeshi in Libya hailing from Alamdanga upazila of Chuadanga.
He dreamtof going to Europe from Libya to improve the financial situation of his poor family. He paidTk3.7 lakh to Bakkar Sardar, a middleman from Faridpur,to get to Libya. Bakul left Bangladesh eight months ago.
Momena Khatun, the mother of Bakul Hossain, said, "Bakul sent us moneythree times after reaching Libya. He dreamtof going to Italy by saving up enough money. When Bakul tried to reach Italy through the help of traffickers, a gang captured him.
"When Bakul talked to me last week, he described the gruesome torture he was facing."
Gaffar Ali, a cousin of Bakul Hossain currently in Libya, said, "Bakul left Benghazi two weeks ago for Tripoli. He was planning to go to Italy from therewith the help of traffickers."
Lal Chand, 26,from Magura is one of the 26 Bangladeshis who died in the revenge killing in Libya.
His father Yunus Ali said, "We tookout a loan, and sold our trees and cows to send Lal Chand to Libya. We hadpaidTk5.5 lakh to a local middleman named Zia and a manpower businessman, Kamal Haji, of Kushtia."
On the matter of putting an end toillegal migration, the secretary ofthe ministry of expatriate welfare,Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, said, "Only the legal migration processis under our jurisdiction. The illegal human trafficking issue is under the jurisdiction of the home ministry."
Meanwhile, Additional Inspector General (Media) of Police Headquarters Sohel Rana said, "We take legal action against culprits according to formal allegations. If we receive any allegations against human traffickers over the issue centring the recent Libya incident, we will act accordingly."