Family members of four doctors in Khulna – who were picked up on 18 August allegedly by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with suspected involvement in medical college admission question leak – have claimed they were "untraceable" since their detention.
During a press briefing in Khulna's Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) building around 12:30pm on Monday (21 August), they said they could not meet them [the doctors] at the Dhaka CID office or contact them in any way.
Earlier on Friday (18 August), the CID arrested Dr Yunus Khan Tarim, owner of Three Doctors Coaching Centre in Khulna. Later, three female doctors who were students at the same coaching centre – Sharmishta Mondal, Nazia Mahjabin, Mustahin Hasan and Louis Sourav Sarkar – were picked up by plainclothes men identifying as CID officers.
Sharmishta Mondal is an intern at Khulna Medical College Hospital and Louis Sourav Sarkar is a medical officer. The others were in private practice.
In the press conference, their parents said a group of people showed up to their house in the early hours of 18 August, claiming they were from the CID.
Later, the doctors were "forcibly" taken away in a white microbus, claimed the parents, adding that they were not told why the doctors were being taken away.
"Those people did not have any arrest warrant. A mobile phone number was provided to contact them [doctors] while they were on the way. But no one was picking up the phone even though we tried to contact that number," they said.
Parents claimed the allegations of leaking questions against the doctors were not true.
Khulna Sadar police station Office-in-Charge Hasan-al-Mamun told The Business Standard that he is only aware of Dr Tarim's arrest by the CID but he has no information on the other three doctors being picked up.
Contacted, Niaz Mustafi Chowdhury, leader of the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) Khulna District and deputy director of Khulna Medical College Hospital said, "The incident of question leak is similar to a crime against humanity. No one has any objection to that matter. If those doctors were involved in this then they should be punished. However, even after three days, there is no trace of anyone, which is very worrisome."
"If there are specific allegations against them, the law enforcement agencies should make it clear to the family and the media," he added.
According to the office of the Khulna Medical College principal, a letter was sent to the principal from the CID about 1.5 months ago, seeking academic information of 11 students who had passed the medical entrance examination in 2015 and were admitted to the KMC.
The information of those students was given to the CID by the principal's office on 16 July. The three women doctors arrested by the CID are listed among the eleven.
KMCH Principal Professor Dr Md Deen-ul-Islam said, "We have provided the information in view of the CID's demand. If those students got admission here because of leaked questions, then they should be punished as per the state law.''