Mohammed Alomgir Hossain probably didn’t see himself as a martyr when he was working at the Kennedy Fried Chicken on E. 165th Street, supporting his wife son back in Bangladesh.
Hossain was shot dead there on the evening of Saturday, March 12, and community leaders are holding him up as one more tragic example of why gun violence needs to be stopped.
Members of the Bronx community as well as the New York Bengali community held a rally on Monday, March 28 in front of the Kennedy Fried Chicken where Hossain worked. Their message was simple: gun violence must stop.
Councilman Fernando Cabrera spoke at the rally, and told the crowd “you are making a statement that what took place is important to our community.”
Bengali community leaders were incensed at the incident, because as immigrants struggling to earn, they felt as though they have to take on some of the most dangerous jobs in the city.
“Not only here, but the whole nation is having this problem of gun violence,” said Osman Chowdhury, a yellow cab driver who has lived in the United States for 18 years. Chowdhury was taking part in the protest as organizing secretary of the Bangladesh Society in New York.
“Not everything is on the news,” he said. “If we come here strongly, we can get support.”
It is unclear if Hossain’s killing was part of a robbery or a just a dispute, but most protestors seemed to agree that young people out of work, idle and with access to deadly weapons are a recipe for tragedy.
“They need a job,” Chowdhury said. “Why else would they have these guns?”
Cabrera agreed that underlying community issues needed to be addressed.
“It’s a multi-level, multi-facet problem that we have. We have one of the highest unemployment rates, and even though crime is down, we still have a crime problem,” Cabrera said.
The protest was led by Mohammed Solaiman Ali, a licensed real estate broker, member of Community Board 7, Bengali and Bronx resident. He estimated that there are about 20,000 Bengalis in the Bronx.
Ali echoed the sentiments that if people are occupied, and guns are off the streets, instances like the one at Kennedy Fried Chicken will decrease.
“The city needs to be more responsible and increase training for young people,” he said.
Hossain was 26. He had lived in the United States for three years and had just moved to Parkchester two weeks before he was killed.
©2011 Community News Group