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5 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Attack on Prof Zafar Iqbal

‘A few days’ needed to recover

STAFF REPORTER
‘A few days’ needed to recover
Teachers of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology form a human chain on the campus in Sylhet in protest at the attempt on the life of their colleague Prof Zafar Iqbal. Focus Bangla photo

Prof Muhammad Zafar Iqbal suffered six stab wounds in his body but is now out of danger and conscious, a doctor of the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) of Dhaka announced yesterday. “Six stab wounds were found on the body of Zafar Iqbal—four on his head, one on his back and one on his left hand. He suffered a total of six blows, but they were not very deep cuts. He is out of danger and his mental condition is also fine,” disclosed Maj. Gen. Munshi Md Mojibur Rahman, consultant surgeon-general of the Directorate General of Medical Services.

Rahman was speaking to journalists at a press briefing at the CMH administrative building in the cantonment of the capital. In reply to a query, Rahman said: “There are four small wounds on his head, one on his back and one on his left hand. These injured areas have been properly treated.”

Asked whether the attack had reached his skull, Rahman said: “The attack reached only the skin. It cannot be called a grievous attack. It's a head injury. His brain is fine. However, it can take a few days for him to recover.”

He also said: “We've scanned his whole body and his mental condition is fine. He is talking normally. He can understand various situations. He is cooperating with us for treatment.”

The surgeon further said a five-member medical team has been formed for to ensure Prof. Zafar Iqbal’s improved treatment. However, no one is currently being allowed to visit Prof. Zafar Iqbal to ensure his quick recovery.

“After being attacked by a miscreant, Prof. Zafar Iqbal was taken to the Osmani Hospital Sylhet. He was then brought to CMH Dhaka by helicopter following the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh

Hasina for better treatment,” Rahman said.

“All the doctors concerned examined him after he was admitted to CMH at 11:58 pm. A medical team was formed immediately. He is being treated intensively by the medical team. The team examined him this morning. He is now completely conscious and out of danger,” he added.

“But the entry of visitors is being strictly monitored for the sake of his quick recovery and to preclude the spread of contagion. We seek cooperation of all in this regard,” he noted.

When asked whether the police have talked to the victim, Rahman said: “It’s not right to meet him now for the sake of treatment. The inspector-general of police (IGP) and others came last night. We are not allowing others to meet him.”

He also said: “Prof. Zafar reached CMH at 11:58pm. All specialists were present there. As soon as he arrived here, we immediately administered treatment.”

“He is taking liquid food. There has been no injury to his stomach,” the doctor added.

In reply to a query whether there is any plan to send the professor abroad, Rahman said: “We’re not saying anything about it right now. He can go next time for observation.”

Prof. Dr Abul Kalam Azad, the director-general of health services, and Brig. Gen. Md Mahbubur Rahman, the commandant of CMH, Dhaka, were present on the occasion. Prof. Yasmeen Haque, wife of Zafar Iqbal, and some other teachers of SUST were present at the briefing.

Prof. Haque told journalists: “Zafar Iqbal himself phoned me saying that he has been attacked. He said he was fine and was being carried to hospital. He also said he did want his and daughter to get the news through television. He told me he was bleeding profusely at that time. He, however, assured me that he was fine otherwise.”

“I asked him if he was feeling any pain. He replied he was increasingly feeling pain, but we need not worry about that. My daughter and I were crying. But he seemed fine,” she added.

She thanked Sheikh Hasina for making arrangements to Zafar Iqbal to CMH Dhaka. “I cordially thank the Prime Minister for her prompt action,” she added. Quoting Zafar Iqbal, Prof. Haque said: “He asked me to tell the students not to be agitated on the campus. I am grateful to the students, who are listening to our words.”

“Many persons are enraged over the incident. How did it happen? Police are investigating it.  Zafar Iqbal is fine. Doctors are taking good care of him here. I have full trust in the medical treatment at CMH. It’s not that good treatment can be found only outside the country,” she added.

Asked how she sees the attack, Prof. Haque said: “Police are always with us. They have given us full protection. I don’t think the government should immediately be blamed.”

“This is not the first threat. We’re always facing threats. Pieces of shrouds are sent to us. Shall I shut down everything and start living in jail?” she told the reporters. “We would freely interact with the students. The police had tried their best at the programme. I don’t blame anyone,” she added.

In reply to another query, Prof. Haque said: “Nothing has been said while the attack was being carried out. Police will find it out.”

She sought the prayers of all and expressed hope that her spouse will recover soon and return to the campus. Renowned writer and also an academic of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), Prof. Zafar Iqbal, was stabbed by a youth at a programme on the university premises on Friday.

The youth who stabbed the professor indiscriminately on his body was reportedly identified as Foyzur Rahman. The attacker was immediately caught. Before he was shifted to CMH Dhaka by Army helicopter around midnight on Friday, Prof. Iqbal was given medical treatment at MAG Osmany Medical College and Hospital in Sylhet.

UNB adds: University students and social cultural organisations yesterday staged demonstrations across the country protesting Saturday’s knife attack on Prof Zafar Iqbal.

In Sylhet, Teachers’ Association of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUSTTA) and Sammilito Sangskritik Jote staged separate demonstrations on the campus today protesting the attack on the noted writer.

They also formed a human chain in front of the central library of the university around 11am.

Later, general students under the banner of Sammilito Sangskritik Jote formed a human chain in front of the central library around 12pm, protesting the attack.

Besides, Teachers Association of Sylhet Agricultural University formed a human chain in front of the administrative building of the university at noon protesting the attack. Jahangirnagar University Teachers Association (JUTA) formed a human chain at the premises of the university central Saheed Minar around10:00 amon Sunday demanding punishment of the attackers.

JU Vice-Chancellor Prof Farzana Islam demand immediate punishment of the perpetrators.

Besides, ‘Sikkakh Sikaharti Oikay Mancha’ held a protest rally around12:00pmon the campus.

In Khulna, Teachers’ Association of Khulna University formed a human chain at Hadi Chattar on the campus around 11 am protesting the attack on the renowned writer.

In Sherpur, different socio-cultural organisations of the district brought out a protest procession from New Market intersection in the district town on Sunday protesting the attack.

In Thakurgaon, the district unit Bangladesh Mohila Parishad formed a human chain in the district town.

In Tangail, Teachers’ Association of Maulana Bhashani Science and Technology University formed a human chain on the campus protesting the attack on the writer and teacher.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan yesterday claimed that here was no lapse in ensuring security to Prof Zafar Iqbal.

He came up with the remark while talking to reporters after the annual sports and cultural competition award giving ceremony of Nazneen School and College at East Rajabazar in the capital on Sunday.

“The attacker couldn’t be caught had there been inadequate security. The attacker has already been arrested and we came to know from him why he made the attack,” he said.

“So far I know the attacker has a computer shop near the university campus. He is undergoing treatment at a hospital, we can find out the motive behind the attack,” the minister added.

Asked whether any extremist group is involved in the attack, he said, “We have to wait a little bit to know this. After having his confessional statement, we’ll be able to know who were involved in the attack,” he said.

Sought comments whether the attack was carried out for lack of government steps over threats to prominent persons in the past, the minister categorically said all the incidents of threats are under investigation and charge-sheets in different murder cases have already been submitted. Asked how the attacker entered the campus dodging the eyes of law enforcers though he was not a student, the minister said, “The matter is under investigation...We’re investigating it. The details will be known once the investigation is completed.”

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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