Eight month pregnant Najma Begum was shot on Thursday 23 July in Doarpar Karigarpara of Magura town, during a shootout between two factions of the ruling party student organization Chhatra League. The bullets also went through the baby which was in her womb. Najma’s uncle-in-law Momen Bhuiyan was injured in the shooting and a bomb blast at the spot and died the next day.
The baby was born after a four-hour long caesarean operation on her mother at Magura General Hospital on Friday night. The newborn suffered from low birth weight with 2kg.
The body has marks of five wounds on its right eye, back, and cheek after bullet spun after entering the mother’s womb.
A visit to the Magura sadar hospital on Wednesday morning fund Najma Begum writhing in pain, finding it hard to breathe.
Najma said, “My baby took the bullet to save my life even before she could enter this world. I haven’t seen her face yet. Catch those who shot by baby and hang them.”
She said, “I only heard afterwards that my baby has been taken to Dhaka. No one told me, no one took me. I don’t know how she is!”
Magura sadar hospital doctor Shafiur Rahman said, the mother and newborn were both in a critical condition and it was advised that both be taken to Dhaka.
The baby’s father Bachchu Bhuiyan, a small trader, told Prothom Alo, “We are poor people. We can’t afford treatment. The SP told me that our baby would die if we kept her here and he arranged to send her to Dhaka the next day. I don’t know why the baby’s mother wasn’t sent to Dhaka too.”
Magura police super (SP) AKM Ahsan Ullah said, “I sent the baby to Dhaka, but the mother wasn’t sent as her condition was all right.”
Doctors at Magura and Dhaka said, the mother and child saved each other. The mother was less injured because of the baby in her womb. The bullet was lodged in the mother’s abdomen, after it pierced through the child, near the eye. The child virtually saved the mother’s life. The fluid in the mother’s uterus slowed down the bullet somewhat an the babies bones and vital organs were saved.
Rubel Bhuiyan, son of Momen Bhuiyan who was killed in the shooting between two factions of Chhatra League, filed charges at the Magura sadar police station against 16 persons on the day after the incident. The main accused in the case is Magura district Chhatra League vice president Sen Suman (32). He is known to be a close associate of the district Chhatra League president Sheikh Rezaul Islam. Azibbar Sheikh, Muhammed Ali and the other accused are all former Chhatra League leaders and activists. They are active in Chhatra League programmes. The police have arrested Suman and Subhan, but the others have not been caught as yet.
SP AKM Ahsan Ullah said that they are making all out efforts to arrest them.
Doctor’s operate to save life of newborn; say she is still not out of danger
Doctors yesterday operated on the baby who received bullet wounds while still in the mother’s womb. The premature baby is still not out of danger, said the doctors. They say the infant needs its mother.
The injured baby under treatment of Associate Professor Kaniz Hasina of Dhaka Medical College’s paediatric surgery department, is registered as ‘baby of Najma Begum’.
Kaniz Hasina told Prothom Alo, “,The baby’s lungs and heart are unhurt, but there is a risk of infection. The baby was rendered partially unconscious for the operation, but has responded well. She cried once fully conscious.”
Doctors said that blood test reports suggested that the baby might have septicaemia (blood infection of poisoning) as platelets dropped to 50,000 per cubic millimetre that should be 150,000 to 400,000.
Earlier on Tuesday, the hospital formed a medical board for the treatment of the newborn shot in mother’s womb six days ago. Kaniz Hasina said that if the baby suffered from septicaemia that would be a danger to her life. Considering it, the doctors already changed the antibiotic, she added.
Paediatric surgery department head Ashraful Haque Kazal, the head of the nine-member medical board, said the newborn’s right eye might have been damaged permanently as the bullet hit the right side including the eye. A bullet hit just beside the lungs and physicians found that it did not cause any major damage to the lungs.
Kaniz Hasina has advised that the mother be brought to Dhaka as the baby is premature and has less resistance to disease. The seven-day old baby needs its mother’s milk. The family has been informed, but they said they didn’t have the mean to bring her to Dhaka and treat her here.
Infant’s father Bachchu Bhuiyan told New Age that Dr Shafiur Rahman of Magura General Hospital forbade Nazma Khatun, the infant’s mother, to move. Nazma was improving fast but was not recovered enough to travel to Dhaka, said Bachchu quoting Shafiur.
After the operation, the baby’s aunt said, “She’s so tiny and has needed 18 stitches. Allah alone knows what will happen. The poor little thing is lying there with her eyes closed.”
The baby was looking tired. The doctors said they had no alternative but to operate on her wound.