When Titumir College student Siddiqur Rahman was sent to Chennai in India for treatment, it was hoped that his eyesight would be restored. However, Chennai physicians on Monday said that there was no possibility of the sight in his left eye being restored. In Dhaka, the Bangladeshi physicians had said that though he had lost the sight of his right eye, there was a little hope that he may regain sight in his left eye. But now the Chennai physicians have more or less ruled out that hope. In other words, Siddiqur will remain blind for the rest of his life.
Siddiqur Rahman will never see again. Why? He hadn’t done anything wrong. He had merely joined a demonstration along with fellow students on 20 July at Shahbagh, demanding the announcement of exam dates for seven colleges affiliated with Dhaka University. Both of Siddiqur’s eyes were seriously injured when the police fired teargas shells into the peaceful gathering.
The police first denied the incident outright, saying Siddiqur’s eyes had been injured by a flowerpot hurled by the students. But video footage reveals that the teargas had been fired close range and Siddiqur had immediately fallen down. Blood poured from his eyes. In face of protest, the police formed two inquiry committees. The committees were supposed to have given their reports within three days, but the time has been extended.
A genuine true and unbiased inquiry is needed to unearth the truth. It is felt that the truth will not emerge in an inquiry conducted by the police as the police themselves are accused here. We thus demand a judicial inquiry into the matter Let exemplary punishment be been given to those responsible for snatching away Siddiqur’s eyesight.
The incident occurred at the hands of the law enforcement agencies, run on public funds. Trained police know full well under what circumstances someone can be injured by a teargas shell.
The government may not be able to restore Siddiqur’s eyesight, but it can address the wrong that has been done to him. It is their duty to provide him will all due compensation.