• Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Dinajpur UNO critically wounded in attack at home

  • Published at 12:05 pm September 3rd, 2020
UNO Wahida Khanam being airlifted to Dhaka by BAF 03.09.2020 - ISPR
Bangladesh Air Force officials carry a critically injured Dinajpur UNO Wahida Khanam onboard a helicopter in Rangpur, to bring her to Dhaka for better treatment on Thursday, September 3, 2020 ISPR

She cannot be taken into surgery as her condition is not stable, says the director of the National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital

An upazila administration chief on Thursday was flown to Dhaka in critical condition after being injured by unknown assailants who broke into her official residence.

Wahida Khanam, the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Dinajpur’s Ghoraghat, suffered critical injuries on the skull, which caused profuse bleeding. 

According to sources, Wahida Khanam was taken to an operation theatre (OT) of the National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital (NINH) at around 9pm on Thursday.

"There are fractures on her skull. She has also suffered excessive bleeding," Prof Quazi Deen Mohammad, director of the NINH in Dhaka, told reporters while giving an update on her condition on Thursday evening. 

He said that it seemed Wahida was hit in the head with a metal object.

"She is not fully conscious. Her blood pressure has dropped. 

She is not in a stable condition," the NINH director added. 

Speaking to the media, Prof Md Zahed Hossain, head of the NINH’s neuro-trauma department, said: “Wahida Khanam was hit with something heavy. Because of this there is an indentation in her skull, which is causing immense pressure inside her head."

Meanwhile, a seven-member medical board, including the aforementioned two physicians, has been formed to treat the UNO. 

The board has analyzed her test reports. The tests were conducted after she was shifted to the NINH from Rangpur. 

The UNO and her father were attacked by unknown miscreants at her government residence in Ghoraghat upazila.

According to local sources, miscreants stormed into the UNO's residence at around 2:30am on Thursday, through a window. 

After entering the house, the miscreants started attacking UNO Wahida.

Her father Omar Ali also received critical injuries when he tried to come to his daughter's rescue.

Both the injured were first taken to Rangpur Medical College Hospital. 

Later, the UNO was shifted to the ICU of Rangpur Community Medical College Hospital.

Also Read -  Doctor: Attack left Dinajpur UNO partially paralyzed

Dr Tofayel Hossain Bhuiyan, head of neurosurgery at Rangpur Medical College Hospital, said that the UNO had received injuries on the left side of her head.

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Ghoraghat police station OC Amirul Islam said that  the reason behind the attack could not be ascertained.

Efforts are being made to catch the culprits behind the incident by examining CCTV footage of the house, he added.

The UNO was airlifted to Dhaka by a Bangladesh Air Force helicopter in the afternoon, confirmed Noor Islam, assistant director of the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate.

She was taken to the NINH in Agargaon, Dhaka at 3:08pm.

‘2 individuals carried out the attack’

CCTV footage of Wahida Khanam’s residence showed that clad from head to toe in PPEs, two people entered the UNO's house at around 2am on Thursday after tying up the night guard and left the establishment nearly an hour later.

Dinajpur Deputy Commissioner Mahmudul Alam, Superintendent of Police Anwar Hossain and other administration and law enforcement high officials examined the CCTV footage after visiting the crime scene.

After a meeting, they again visited the spot later in the day.

One of the attackers entered the house through a ventilator, with the help of a ladder, sources who saw the CCTV footage told reporters. 

But they could not provide details about the other attacker, but claimed that Wahida’s son was not hurt in the attack.

Account of Wahida’s father

The critically injured UNO's father, Omar Ali, who is being treated at the neurosurgery ward of Rangpur Medical College Hospital, said that he too, was hit with metal objects on his body and head. 

“When I woke up to say my Fajr prayers, I heard Wahida screaming in her room. 

"As I approached, one of the masked attackers threatened me and sought the keys of an almirah," the injured father said.

Also Read - Attack on UNO: Police detain 2 for interrogation

“An attacker then threatened to kill me if I did not give him the key. 

"Soon afterwards, he hit me with a hammer, causing me to collapse on the ground. I don’t know what happened after that,” he recalled. 

Omar Ali told reporters that Wahida Khanam resided with her only son at her residence. Her husband is the UNO of Pirganj upazila in Rangpur.  

“I have been staying with my daughter for the past two years. 

"I go to my village home in Naogaon sometimes. I don’t know if Wahida was threatened by someone during my stay,” Omar Ali said. 

Wahida Khanam joined her current workplace on November 7, 2018. 

'Reason behind attack will be revealed soon'

Minister of State for Public Administration Farhad Hossain and Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus went to the NINH on Thursday afternoon to see Wahida Khanam after she was taken there. 

Earlier, Farhad Hossain told the media that the government was taking the attack on the Ghoraghat UNO very seriously, and investigation was in progress. 

“We are taking this incident very seriously. The reason behind this attack will be revealed soon,” he said while addressing a press briefing at his office in the secretariat on Thursday afternoon. 

“We are hopeful that we will be able to find out the names and addresses of the attackers very soon. 

"We are watching the CCTV footage collected from the scene. The law enforcement agencies are working on it,” Farhad added.

Mentioning that this incident could be a case of robbery, the state minister said: “We will find out what happened soon, and take strong measures accordingly.”

However, Dinajpur 6 MP Shibly Sadiq, after visiting the crime spot, said that it was not a robbery since no valuables were missing from the house. 

“Maybe their aim was to kill the UNO,” he said, adding that Wahida might not have any local enemies as most of the inhabitants were farmers and there were no big industries in the upazila.  

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