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NIMH Registrar Arrest: Psychiatrists announce closing private practice sine die

  • Published at 12:00 pm November 19th, 2020
BAP press conference
Members of Bangladesh Association of Psychiatrists hold a press conference on National Institute of Mental Health and Hospital (NIMH) premises, demanding unconditional bail for the institute’s Registrar Dr Abdullah Al Mamun, on Thursday, November 19, 2020 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Resident doctor at NIMH referred Anisul to the hospital but relatives refused and took him to Mind Aid Hospital, says psychiatrists’ association leader

Claiming that deceased senior ASP Anisul Karim Shipon was taken to Mind Aid Hospital by his family members without any referral from doctors at the National Institute of Mental Health and Hospital (NIMH), the Bangladesh Association of Psychiatrists (BAP) has extended its decision to keep all private chambers and online services closed until further notice.

Leaders of psychiatrists’ association disclosed the information at a press conference held at the NIMH premises in Dhaka on Thursday.

They threatened to go for a tougher movement from Saturday if bail and unconditional release of Dr Abdullah Al Mamun, who was arrested over the murder of police official Shipon, were not ensured by then. 

Police arrested NIMH Registrar Dr Abdullah Al Mamun on Tuesday and took him into their custody on a two-day remand on the charge of the murder of senior assistant superintendent of police (ASP) Anisul Karim Shipon of Barisal Metropolitan Police.

Notably, psychiatrists’ private chambers and online services remained closed on Wednesday and Thursday in protest at Dr Mamun’s arrest.

Police claimed that Dr Mamun referred a mentally ill Anisul to the Adabor hospital in the capital instead of admitting him, where he was beaten to death. Mamun gets money by referring patients to the private hospital.

For their part, doctors said Dr Mamun had been framed intentionally.

‘Relatives preferred to leave NIMH with patient’

Doctors at the press conference claimed that on November 9, Anisul’s brother-in-law and sister along with three policemen went to NIMH. At the time, Anisul’s hands were tied with a piece of cloth which was seen on the surveillance footage of the hospital.

Also Read - Police: NIMH registrar received over 10L in commissions from Mind Aid

“Anisul was so aggressive, angry and excited that they brought him here with his hands tied. He was taken to the observation room and doctors pushed an injection to make him relax,” said Prof Md Azizul Islam, vice president of BAP.

Then a resident physician advised admitting Anisul at the hospital after examining the patient's physical and mental condition. But his relatives refused to do so.

“They contacted Dr Mamun via other doctors at the hospital and chose Mind Aid Hospital on their own,” he added.

“Dr Mamun was not involved in the treatment of the patient. Neither did he refer him nor was he present at the Mind Aid Hospiatal where the police official was allegedly beaten to death,” he said, adding that police picked up Dr Mamun from the NIMH at around 4:30am unlawfully and slapped a murder case on him. 

What happened at the NIMH

Dr Shahana Parvin, resident doctor of NIMH, who provided the patient prescription at the outdoor department, said doctors examined Anisul at the emergency department that morning.

“He was so unstable and already at the emergency department that we gave him an injection to make him calm. After examining him, I realized that he should be admitted for long term treatment,” she said.

“Dr Rashedul Hasan [Anisul’s relative] said they would not admit Anisul at the hospital. So, on my admission advice slip, I wrote that his relatives had refused admission,” she said.

Dr Shahana provided a prescription recommending some medicine.

After 9:30am, the three police personnel, who came from Barisal with Anisul, took a signature on an official document – Command Certificate (CC), where the time of their arrival and exit was written.  

According to the doctors, Anisul suffered from the same type of mental illness in 2016 and 2020. 

“He behaved aggressively, violently in those times also,” Shahana said, quoting the police official’s relatives.     

How did Dr Mamun’s name surface?

Following Anisul's death, his father Faizuddin Ahmed filed a murder case against 15 people with Adabor police station.

Police had earlier arrested 12 accused in the case. Four of them gave confessional statements in court and revealed Mamun’s involvement, police claimed.

However, NIMH’s doctors came up with a different version.

Also Read - ASP Anisul Murder: NIMH registrar held, remanded; 2 more confess

On November 7, Anisul’s relative, Dr Umme Salma, called Muslima Haque, a doctor of NIMH, and talked about Anisul’s mental illness. Dr Muslima suggested that the family contact the NIMH’s outdoor department, said Dr Mekhala Sarkar, associate professor (Psychiatry) of the hospital,

On November 8, Umme Salma visited the hospital and called Dr Muslima again twice, saying she did not like the environment of NIMH. 

As she wanted to know more about the environment and treatment facilities of the hospital, Dr Muslima provided the phone number of Dr Mamun to Salma.

“But police claimed that Anisul’s family members had got acquainted with Dr Mamun through a middleman, which is false,” Dr Mekhala said.

Anisul’s relative, Dr Rashedul, consulted with Dr Ayesha Siddiqa of NIMH after learning they both were from Bogra Medical College. Dr Ayesha Siddiqa also advised them to admit Anisul to NIMH, she said.

Dr Helal Uddin Ahmed, associate professor, Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry, said they formed a three-member committee which did not find any involvement of any doctors, officials or staff. They did not refer or lure the police officer’s family members into going to the private hospital.

Anisul’s brother has already told two news outlets that they left the NIMH as it seemed not good to them and in fear of corona infection.

They searched for a private hospital in the area and found Mind Aid Hospital. They chose it because it seemed clean and well-organised to them, he said. 

Anisul died at the hospital just after he went there to seek treatment for mental issues on November 9.

Hospital authorities claimed they were trying to calm Anisul after he became violent, but a widely circulated security camera footage showed a group of employees beating him.

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