Siddiqur being taken to Chennai for highest treatment

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Dhaka, July 24: Government Titumir College student Siddiqur Rahman who suffered serious eye injuries during police attack at Shahbagh on Thursday is being taken to India’s Chennai for better treatment.

The government will bear all the expenses of his treatment in Chennai at the directive of the prime minister.

The Health Ministry has taken the step, said a PID handout on Monday.

It said Health Minister Mohammad Nasim asked Director of the National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital Prof Dr Golam Mostafa to provide highest treatment to Siddiqur Rahman.

The government has taken the responsibility for the treatment of the college student, the handout said.

On Saturday morning, Siddiqur underwent surgery at the National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital at the city’s Agargaon, but doctors said there is a little chance for him to recover fully. After the surgery of around one and a half hours, the institute’s doctors said it is highly unlikely that he would be able the see the light again.

Following the cabinet meeting, Awami League general secretary and minister Obaidul Quader went the hospital to see Siddiqur. During the visit, he indicated that Siddiqur would be sent abroad for better treatment.

On Thursday, a group of students from seven colleges affiliated with Dhaka University demonstrated in front of the National Museum at Shahbagh demanding announcement of their examination schedules. But a clash broke out when police tried to disperse the demonstrating students. Later, police charged battons and lobbed teargas shells at the students.

Siddiqur, a third-year Political Science student of the Government Titumir College, suffered injuries to his both eyes when the teargas shells of police fell on his eyes. Both of his eyes have been seriously damaged. Doctors are sceptical about the possibility of Siddiqur getting back his eyesight.

Police also detained 13 protesters and filed a case against some 1,200 unidentified people on charges of obstructing police from duty and attempt to murder.

Hails from from village Dakirkanda under Tarakandi upazila in Mymensingh district, Siddiqur is the youngest among his two brothers and one sister. He lost his father when he was a child.

His mother Salma Akter was praying beside Siddiqur’s bed.

“He lost his father when he was three years old. His elder brother is an iron rod worker. We are providing money for Siddiqur’s study despite all odds. I also grow and sell goats and chicken to give Siddiqur money,” she told reporters as tears dripped down her eyes.

“Siddiqur told me some days ago that our sufferings will go away when he gets a job after one or two years,” she added.