Campus community holds vigil in honor of student Tarishi Jain, other victims of the Bangladesh terror attack

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Jihoon Park/Staff

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The flags of America, Bangladesh and India stood tall on the steps of Sproul Plaza as a memorial vigil took place to commemorate campus sophomore and Indian citizen Tarishi Jain and other victims who lost their lives alongside her in the terror attacks that took place in Bangladesh on Friday.

A crowd of more than 100 people, from students who knew her personally to individuals who came to offer their support, gathered from noon to 1:00 p.m. to hear speeches honoring Jain. The memorial vigil consisted of  speakers from the International Students Association at Berkeley, Institute for South Asia Studies, Indian consulate in San Francisco and others.  

Jain, 18, was in Dhaka completing an e-commerce growth internship with Eastern Bank Limited organized through UC Berkeley’s Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies. She began her internship in early June.

“In Dhaka just a few days ago, we lost 20 people in a way that I can only describe as senseless,” said Mackenzie Monroe, a close friend of Jain. “One of the people we lost was my friend.”

Jain was having dinner with two of her other friends, Abinta Kabir and Faraaz Hossain, students from Emory University, when the gunmen attacked. Twenty hostages and two police officers were killed as gunned militants stormed and took control of Holey Artisan Bakery cafe, a popular restaurant in Dhaka, for nearly 11 hours.

Many present at the memorial vigil expressed their shock and pain felt at the news of her death.

“I think it’s just really shocking to hear about everything that happened, especially to someone that was my age,” said campus sophomore Krupa Modi, who was present at the vigil and shared mutual friends with Jain.

The vigil, hosted by the ASUC with assistance from UC Berkeley, was “to be a place where folks who knew Tarishi and all facets of her life could congregate together and reflect as one,” said ASUC President Will Morrow.

Asif Khan, a campus alumni born in Dhaka, and Tina Jabeen, a Bay Area Bangladeshi community leader, noted their shock and disbelief at the current state of their home country, Bangladesh.

“I don’t know how my country became like this,” said Khan. “Until something happens to your close ones, you don’t really feel the magnitude of the disaster.”

Jain had a significant impact on the campus community, touching the lives of many of her friends. She was a dedicated member of ISAB and EthiCAL, a group that creates clothing for those in poverty to enable them to start their own businesses.

“She was the first person I truly connected with at this school,” said Anisha Chemmachel, a campus student and close friend of Jain. “She created a space for me to feel comfortable, she was so good at that — making people truly feel that what they had to say was heard and important.”

Contact Roann Pao at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @roann_pao.