A group of doctors and staff of National Institute of Mental Health and Hospital demonstrated and abstained from work for hours on Wednesday protesting against the arrest of the hospital registrar Abdullah Al Mamun over the recent death of assistant police superintendent Anisul Karim at a private mental hospital in the city.
They also besieged the office of the hospital director Professor Bidhan Ranjan Roy Podder for few hours to press home their three-point demand, including withdrawal of the case against Mamun and his release.
The Bangladesh Association of Psychiatrists went into a two-day work abstention at private chambers and online medical services on Wednesday in protest against Mamun’s arrest.
The Bangladesh Medical Association in a press release termed the arrest of Mamun as ‘illogical and unexpected’, saying that he did not check the police officer Anisul Karim at the NIMHH.
It claimed that the police officer’s relatives voluntarily took him to the private clinic, Mind Aid Hospital, the release added.
The police arrested Mamun on Tuesday in the city’s Shyamoli area and he is now in a two-day remand in police custody.
The police alleged that the Anisul had gone to the NIMHH for treatment but Mamun sent him to Mind Aid at Adabor despite knowing that patients were tortured in the clinic.
Investigators claimed Mamun benefited ‘financially’ by referring patients to Mind Aid.
Anisul was allegedly tortured to death in Mind Aid by some of its staff when he went there for treatment on November 9.
Most doctors and staff of the NIMHH began their protests in the morning on Wednesday and besieged the director’s office, said Helal Uddin, a physician of the hospital.
The agitating doctors and staff of the NIMHH also sought an explanation over Mamun’s arrest ‘without authorities’ permission as he is a government employee and an assurance from the health ministry and Directorate General of Health Services for a proper work environment without intimidation.
Their strike and work abstention caused sufferings to the patients, said a number of patients.
The agitators withdrew their strike and resumed works in the early afternoon.
The hospital director Bidhan Ranjan told New Age that the agitated doctors and staff suspended their protest following the assurance of the Bangladesh Medical Association of looking into the matter.
He also said that their internal investigation did not find that Mamun had any role in sending Anisul to Mind Aid.
Anisul’s father filed a case with the Adabor police station against 15 people in connection with his son’s death.
So far, 13 people have been arrested.
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