Shot by Indian Border Security Force in the Kurigram border in early April, 14-year-old schoolboy Muhammad Rasel Mia along with a family member flew to India on Saturday to get better medical treatment, according to his family.
Rasel along his cousin Rezaul Islam left Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on a Jet Airways flight at 3:15pm on an arrangement by Indian external affairs ministry, said his brother Rubel Mia after seeing them off.
The family was told that he would be given medical treatment in MIMS Hospital in Delhi.
Ain o Salish Kendra earlier in May wrote letters to the Indian high commission in Dhaka and the Indian National Human Rights Commission informing them of his condition.
Abu Ahmed Faizul Kabir, an ASK coordinator, told New Age that the Indian Human Rights Commission had not responded yet but the Indian high commission responded to the issue and spoke to the victim’s family about his treatment and other expenses.
The Indian high commission’s outgoing first secretary Rajesh Uike was on communication with the family and arranged for the supports that Rasel required.
Rajesh declined to comment when he was approached on Saturday.
On April 30, Rasel and his father Hanif Uddin were grazing their cows and cutting grass on the bank of bordering River Banidao at Phulbari in northern Kurigram district when they experienced an ambush by Indian Border Security Force inside Bangladesh territory, resulting in the injuries in Rasel’s head and eyes.
Rasel was shot in the right eye and face and was likely to lose his eyesight as described by the physicians at the National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital in Dhaka.
The family told New Age that after the month-long stay in Dhaka’s NIOH, the physicians discharged him stating that his condition was ‘critical’.
The family complained that Rasel was not given proper treatment while in hospital, and he left that hospital on May 31 without much hope. The physicians denied the allegation and said that they had tried their best for the boy.
Following the incident, the National Human Rights Commission and ASK intervened. The NHRC wrote to Kurigram district administration seeking information about the boy while its chairman Kazi Reazul Hoque telephoned the Kurigram deputy commissioner to facilitate the victim’s family in getting passports as soon as possible.
In a battalion-level meeting on May 3, the Indian BSF regretted their action.
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