Vol. 5 Num 630 Tue. March 07, 2006  
Front Page

His condition stable

The home ministry yesterday said Bangla Bhai is out of danger despite having injuries throughout his body.

The condition of the dreaded militant, now undergoing treatment at Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Hospital at Pilkhana, is stable, doctors at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH) said after dressing his wounds at around noon.

Immediately after the capture, he and his bodyguard Masud were taken to Muktagaccha Upazila Health Complex for first aid at around 10:45am. Both were injured in an explosion during the raid.

Bangla Bhai was still conscious when he was brought to the health complex. As doctors asked him about his condition, he replied: "I'm feeling pain in my hands."

Sergeant Rafiq, who was shot in the head by Bangla Bhai, survived narrowly as a bullet went past barely touching his skull, said a doctor of the health complex.

Bangla Bhai was taken to the MMCH at 11:30am. "He did not seem worried then," Prof Mohammad Ali Siddiquy told reporters.

Prof Ali took his pulse and monitored the blood pressure. "His condition was stable," he stated.

The operating theatre was already prepared and on arrival he was given primary treatment.

On knowing the blood group of the militant leader, doctors injected blood into his body.

"Through X-ray, we spotted a splinter in his stomach," he said, adding that there were burns in the chest, upper abdomen, left part of his body, left hand and testicles.

He had a minor injury in the left eye too.

"At one stage, he began to talk about his past. We could hear some of it, but not all as we were busy in our job," said Ali.

On consultation with the Rab officials, doctors decided to shift him to Dhaka for better treatment, he said.

Masud lost two fingers of the left hand while his right hand was badly thrashed. He had an operation and was put in the post-operative theatre at the MMCH.

Meantime, Sources in the BDR Hospital said Bangla Bhai's condition is not that serious. "He was talking till start of the operation and answered all questions."

Doctors operated on him at the BDR Hospital late in the afternoon. The procedure started at 5:30pm and continued for two hours, added the sources.

"He is yet to regain consciousness," a source in the hospital told The Daily Star at 8:30 last night.

Four doctors--two from Dhaka Medical College Hospital and two from BDR hospital-- took part in the operation.

Apparently, to dodge the media, on paper he was shown admitted to the DMCH at 1:30pm, but in fact the authorities never took him there.

Some 30 members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), alongside eight platoons of policemen were deployed at the DMCH at that time, giving the impression that Bangla Bhai was being brought there. Besides, there were a huge number of intelligence officials posted in the area. The security arrangements drew more than a hundred journalists to the spot.

By this time, the law enforcers took Bangla Bhai to the BDR Hospital at 2:23pm.

No journalist was allowed in the hospital premises. Later, only the private TV channel NTV was granted the access. The Daily Star was denied access all along.

Sources said the militant kingpin, wounded while resisting the arrest, is physically out of danger. The splinter in his stomach will be removed later.

Notorious for his ruthless ways to kill people, Bangla Bhai sustained a number of scars and wounds on his face, hands, legs and chest. A part of his beard and his testicles have been burnt and blistered.

At the DMCH, the drama centring Bangla Bhai left the pressmen puzzled. The hospital authorities kept two trolleys and a team of doctors ready at the emergency.

In his absence, the doctors put down his name in the first aid registration book as "Siddiqur Rahman" and age 45. The registration number was 2324/214. In the admission register, he was shown admitted under the name of Siddiqur Rahman, 45, at ward No 32 CB-1 (casualty block). His name was recorded as the one of a patient with "bomb blast" injuries. In this book, his registration number was 2247/26.