Hasina's physician threatens to file suit against Home Adviser, IG

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Dhaka, Aug 17 (UNI) Bangladesh's former prime minister Sheikh Hasina's personal physician today threatened to file a damage suit against Home Adviser of the incumbent caretaker government and Inspector General (Prisons) as they had failed to ensure timely treatment of his patient Ms Hasina.

Presently, Ms Hasina is in the US on parole and Home Adviser of the incumbent caretaker government Maj Gen (Retd) M A Matin and Inspector General (prisons) Brig Gen Zakir Hasan had failed in ensuring timely trearment to his patient, he alleged.

At a press conference here after his return from the Washington, Prof Syed Modasser Ali said the left ear of Sheikh Hasina was totally damaged, while 20 per cent vision of her right eye was lost for a lack of proper treatment in jail.

Prof Modasser was critical of the government stance calling him as partisan physician when he was denied permission to see Ms Hasina for medical advice in jail, before her trip abroad for treatment.

''Being her (Sheikh Hasina) personal physician, I'll definitely go to the court for legal actions against the responsible persons according to the medical ethics,'' said Prof Modasser, former consultant of the World Health Organization.

Making a brief statement about the physical condition of the Awami League chief, Sheikh Hasina, he said her ears and eyes had been damaged following the August 2004 grenade attack at her rally in the capital. Later, during her stay for long in prison, her ear-and-eye condition deteriorated for lack of timely treatment, he told newspersons.

The eye specialist further said he would also sue detained former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and her detained ex-state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar and others as the incident of grenade attack had taken place during their rule and they failed to protect her.

About Hasina's right ear, Prof Modasser said without the hearing aid she cannot hear. And she cannot continue with the hearing aid for more than two hours at a stretch.

Asked whether he sought permission from Hasina for filing the damage suits, the doctor said she remained silent about it. ''But, as a physician, I have the right to sue those responsible for causing damage to my patient,'' he quipped.

He said whenever he had sought permission from the jail authorities to see his patient in prison, the IG (Prisons) rejected his appeal calling him as 'partisan' doctor.

''The IG (Prisons) has crossed his limits by making such comment.

He should be quizzed in this connection. And I hope, after the publication of this report in newspapers, the government will conduct inquiry against him,'' he said.

And he will move to the court after getting in hand all requisite medical reports, the doctor insisted.

Hasina, who was paroled for her treatement, is likely to return home by the end of September. She was arrested in July last year in connection with an extortion case. Later, a number of cases were filed against her by the military-backed caretaker government.

She has been undergoing treatment at John Hopkins Hospital in the US under the observation of its director Harry A Quigley.

UNI XC AE BD2255

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