Four physicians go ‘missing’ in Khulna: What the family members say

Family members of four missing physicians are talking to the media in Khulna on 21 August, 2023
Prothom Alo

The family members of four ‘missing’ physicians in Khulna do not know where they (physicians) are now. The family members are saying the physicians were picked up from their homes on 18 August by people who identified them as CID members. The relatives are claiming the physicians have been missing ever since.

The four physicians are -- Sharmishtha Mondol, Nazia Mahjabin, Mustahin Hasan Lamia and Lewis Sourav Sarkar. Sharmishtha and Nazia are interns at Khulna Medical College Hospital while the other two have private practices. They have been suspected to be involved with the leaking of the question paper of the medical college admission exam.

Younus uz Zaman, the advisor of the medical coaching centre, where these four were admitted, have been arrested by CID. The three female physicians were admitted in that coaching centre in 2015 while Lewis Sourav Sarkar was a student of the 2012 batch. Currently, Lewis is a teacher of that coaching centre.

The family members of the four missing physicians spoke to the media for the first time at Khulna BMA building at around 12:30 pm on Monday. They claimed that their children are very talented and secured GPA-5 in SSC and HSC exams. The accusation of they being involved with question paper leaking is not true. However, they admitted that all the four physicians had done coaching at a medical admission coaching centre, Three Doctors.

Nazia’s mother Nilufer Yeasmin said, at around 5:00 in the morning of 18 August, five to six persons entered their home. During that time her husband was at the mosque to say his prayers. Upon hearing from other people, he returned home. The people who entered the house told her husband that they came from CID office in Dhaka and will take Nazia with them. While taking away Nazia they provided a cell phone number to communicate, but no one received the call later when Nazia’s parents called the number. They don’t know where their daughter is for the last three days. She passed her FCPS surgery first part in July this year.

Lamia’s mother, Ferdousi Akhter, who is a teacher at a private medical college in Khulna, said about 20-25 people entered their residence in the Nirala area of the city at around 9:00 am on 18 August.

Lamia, who returned home from her night duty, was forcefully taken to a car. She has two children aged seven and two and a half years. The younger child, who lives on breastfeeding, has been crying relentlessly. Lamia’s family attempted to contact CID Dhaka several times but they were not informed of anything.

Lewis’ mother Makulet Sarkar said several people entered her house at around 3:00 am on 18 August identifying them as CID. They said they came to arrest Lewis over question leaking. They, however, could not show any arrest warrant. Lewis was in the house of his maternal uncle nearby and they took Lewis’ father Badal Sarkar to that house to pick him. Lewis’ family does not know his whereabouts ever since.

Sharmishta’s father Dinbandhu Mondol said four people including a female entered his house at around 9:00 am on 18 August. Sharmishta was sleeping then. The personnel identified themselves as CID and picked her but did not disclose why. Sharmishta’s family contacted Dhaka CID Bureau and came to know their daughter was there.

The leaders of Khulna district branch of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) said that the question paper leak is a crime tantamount to crime against humanity. No one has any objection to that matter. If those doctors are involved in this, they also want them to be punished. However, it is very worrying that even after three days there is no trace of anyone.

Niaz Mustafi Chowdhury, deputy director of Khulna Medical College Hospital, said that among the four missing physicians, there is an intern doctor of Khulna Medical College Hospital. But the fact that he was missing for three days was not informed by the family to the hospital authorities, he added.