Condition of Dinajpur’s Ghoraghat Upazila Nirbahi Officer Wahida Khanam has improved, doctors at the National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital (NINH) said yesterday.
“Her physical condition has improved. But she is not out of danger yet. We have to wait 72 hours [till Sunday night]. We will review her condition on Monday morning,” Prof Zahed Hossain, member secretary of the eight-member medical board formed at the NINH for Wahida, told The Daily Star.
On Thursday night, doctors performed a surgery on Wahida’s brain.
Wahida and her father Omar Ali Sheikh was critically injured in an attack by miscreants at her official residence in Ghoraghat upazila early Thursday.
Director General of Directorate General of Health Services Prof ABM Khurshid Alam and Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Prof Kanak Kanti Barua yesterday visited Wahida at the hospital.
“Wahida Khanam’s level of consciousness is normal. She can recognise everyone; has talked to everyone, including her husband,” Prof Zahed Hossain said during a briefing yesterday.
He informed that the right side of Wahida’s body is still paralysed.
“It is difficult to say when it [paralysed side] would improve; otherwise, her condition is well,” he added.
Before them, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam also visited the UNO, according to NINH officials.
Wahida’s father Omar Ali, who came under attack while trying to save his daughter, is undergoing treatment at Rangpur Medical College Hospital. Wahida’s brother Sheikh Farid Uddin told this newspaper that his father Omar Ali Sheikh has lost control over his legs.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the attack so far. They are: Nabirul Islam, Shantu Kumar and Asadul Haque. Of them, Asadul was a member of Ghoraghat Pouro Jubo League.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Administrative Service Association (BASA) yesterday claimed that the hammer attack on Wahida was pre-planned.
In a press conference at BIAM Auditorium, BASA president Helal Uddin Ahmed, also the senior secretary of the Local Government Divison, demanded further investigation into the attack.
He said an observation committee led by Rangpur range divisional commissioner has already been formed to maintain communication with the investigating team.
“Some people are spreading rumours that it was an attempted theft gone wrong. We think it is a propaganda. The miscreants did not steal anything. Even, her [Wahida] mobile phone was found on the bed,” he said.
“We think many others are involved in the incident,” Helal said, adding that people who failed to secure undue benefits from Wahida might be involved in the attack.
In response to a question, BASA’s General Secretary Shaikh Yusuf Harun said Wahida carried out eviction drives against illegal extraction of sands from a Balu Mohal (sand field). It might have upset someone involved in the attack.
Meanwhile, talking to The Daily Star, different government officials working in Dinajpur said they had been facing tremendous pressure while performing duties due to the reckless attitudes of the ruling AL men.
The party men are involved in multiple offences, including tender manipulation, taking control of the lease of local rural markets and ponds, land grabbing, and illegal sand lifting.
Such an attack has spread a sense of fear among the UNOs and other government officials in Dinajpur.
A gang of miscreants has allegedly been operating in Ghoraghat under the aegis of a top AL leader.
Locals said Jahangir Alam, Jubo League convener of Ghoraghat Unit, Masud Rana, president of the Shingra Union Jubo League in Ghoraghat, and Moinul Master, president of Palsha Union AL, have been using their influence to make a quick buck.
Rab detained six people, including Jahangir and Masud, after the incident.
The two have been released after interrogation.
Even AL lawmaker of Dinajpur-6 Shibli Sadik and the district unit Jubo League President Rashed Parvez expressed disappointment over their activities.
Locals said UNO Wahida was supposed to conduct a mobile court drive to demolish several illegal structures at Dugdugi Bazar in the upazila on Thursday morning. But she was attacked a few hours before.
The land of Dugdugi Bazar was leased out to Moinul Master. But he illegally built structures on it and sold them to several people, locals said.
Meanwhile, Rab handed over Nabirul Islam and Santu Das to police on Friday night.
Police placed the two before the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Shishir Kumar Basu with a 10-day remand prayer.
The court granted seven days of remand for each of them.
Meanwhile, the case filed over the attack on UNO Wahida has been transferred to Detective Branch (DB) of Police in Dinajpur.
Imam Jafar, Inspector of DB in Dinajpur, has been made the new investigation officer of the case.