Sheikh Hasina, former premier and detained Awami League president, on Saturday expressed her disagreement to get medical treatment in the country as she feared threat on her life.
Hasina expressed the disagreement to her personal physician ABM Abdullah when he went to give her a check-up in the special jail set up at the Sangsad Bhaban’s premises in the morning.
‘The former prime minister is afraid of taking treatment in the country on security grounds and wants to go abroad for treatment,’ Abdullah told E-Bangladesh on Saturday.
The Awami League’s presidium on Saturday said the party, if the government agrees, would arrange in the USA the treatment of Sheikh Hasina’s ears which were badly damaged due to the deafening sound of the explosion of grenades launched on her rally on August 22, 2004.
Terming the present condition of Sheikh Hasina ‘very ill’, physician Abdullah said that he had visited her in response to the jail authority’s request and tried to make her understand the necessity of her immediate treatment.
During the one and a half hour of check-up, Hasina told him that she feared attempts on her life, pointing out the various assassination attempts that had taken place on her in the past, said Abdullah.
‘Moreover, she has been taking treatment abroad for a long time and proper treatment for her ear complaint is not possible in the country,’ he said.
The doctor said Hasina has been suffering from dust allergy but her blood pressure was under control on Saturday.
He also said that Hasina’s hearing aid has gone out of order totally and it is not possible to repair it in the country.
‘The hearing aid is the latest state-of the art device made in the United States which cannot be repaired in Bangladesh,’ Abdullah added.
He, however, said that the AL president has complete faith in the four-member medical board formed by the jail authority for her treatment.
Abdullah, chairman of the medicine department of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, said that he had advised the jail authorities to get Sheikh Hasina admitted to the hospital for proper medical treatment.
‘If she gets admitted to the hospital we will visit her round the clock, but now we can visit her only when allowed by the jail authority,’ he said.
Awami League’s acting president Zillur Rahman strongly demanded that the government should arrange necessary treatment for Hasina as per her desire, and said his party was ready to foot the bill for her treatment abroad if the government gives the green-light.
‘The physical condition of our president is very bad. America is the best place for her treatment. We will take the responsibility for her treatment abroad if the government allows her to go to America,’ Zillur told reporters at his Gulshan residence in the morning.
He also refuted the government’s justification that a detainee could not be allowed to go abroad for treatment and cited the example of Rab (ASM Abdur Rab, leader of a faction of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal) who was permitted to go abroad for treatment while still in detention.
‘It is a feeble excuse that detainees cannot be allowed to get overseas treatment. When I was in jail along with Rab, the government allowed him to go abroad for treatment,’ Zillur pointed out.