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Zafrullah accuses RAB of excesses in mobile court drive at GK
Gonoshahthaya Kendra management in a press conference on Saturday alleged that the decades-old public charity organisation was facing attacks and cases after one of their trustees Zafrullah Chowdhury joined Jatiya Oikya Front.
‘We believe, these [recent] attacks are being launched and cases filed against Gonoshahthaya Kendra with the assistance of political rivals of Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury,’ the Kendra’s trustee board chairman Altafunnessa Maya told reporters at Gonoshahthaya Nagor Hospital in the capital in the afternoon.
In her written statement, Altafunnessa detailed how Gonoshahthaya Kendra faced attacks from local goons with the help of police and local administration.
She mentioned the name of one land broker Muhammad Ali and how he filed the cases as he lost nine lawsuits against Gonoshahthaya Kendra in order to occupy land property of the charity.
Altafunnessa came up with allegations against Rapid Action Battalion and revealed how a mobile court, led by executive magistrate Sarwar Alam, in the presence of RAB-4 Savar-Nabinagor camp commanding officer Major Abdul Hakim Nasim threatened the Kendra employees on October 23.
In the statement, Gonoshahthaya Kendra management also said how the mobile court ‘illogically’ and ‘unethically’ had seized the medicines in absence of any employees of the hospital.
The Kendra management had wanted to pay the fine in cheque but the mobile court wanted it in cash, the statement reads, adding that the following the day, the fine worth Tk 10 lakh was paid to the RAB commanding officer but the management was not given any receipt.
The RAB-4-backed mobile court also fined Gonoshahthaya Pharmaceuticals Tk 15 lakh and the executive magistrate, Sarwar Alam, gave false information about his findings, it adds.
When contacted, Major Abdul Hakim declined to make any comment while executive magistrate Sarwar Alam could not be reached by Saturday evening.
When approached, RAB-4 commanding officer Chowdhury Manjurul Kabir said he was not aware about the drive at Gonoshahthaya Kendra.
‘Without instruction from high-ups, this kind of incident can never take place. It was a terrorist attack. When the government is involved, there may be fine but they wanted the money immediately and it is called terrorist style,’ Zafrullah told the press conference.
‘What they have done, they picked two weakest employees — both health workers. They did not pick my director. Our vice-chancellor was there. They [RAB] did not pick him up. They forced them to sign and threatened them that they would land in jail if they did not sign,’ he alleged.
‘Why does such incident take place? I am an independent citizen. I am one of the trustees of Gonoshahthaya Kendra. As they cannot punish me, they are hurting our organisation,’ said the veteran freedom fighter and physician.
He said there were culture disks inside discarded boxes too.
‘Those cannot be destroyed them whimsically. It needed a committee to destroy those…It cannot go that way to make the country a jungle. But, RAB did it. I have always said RAB should be withdrawn,’ said Zafrullah.
Saiful Islam Shishir, an executive director at the GK, said that so far six cases were filed against them since mid-October.
He said the cases and attacks were interrelated as each of the attacks took place after a case was filed with the local police station.
After being attacked, the GK officials approached the local police station and police showed their indifference to the issues, leading to further attack.
‘We approached the local police station with the first information report seeking help. The police officials said they had instructions from the high-ups. We finally filed a case with Dhaka court and preparation of two more cases is underway,’