A BSMMU doctor died under mysterious circumstances and his wife was hospitalized on Sunday.
The sudden death led his family and colleagues to allege murder.
Dr Rajan Karmakar, an associate professor at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University (BSMMU), also a notable maxillofacial expert, was brought to Square Hospital in Panthapath at 3:45am on Sunday by his family.
According to Dr Asaduzzaman, emergency shift-in-charge at Square Hospital, said Rajan had no pulse when he was brought in.
He said an initial examination did not reveal anything suspicious, so hospital authorities did not inform the police.
However, Dr Humayun Kabir, general secretary of Bangladesh Dental Society and Rajan’s colleague, said he was one of the top maxillofacial experts in the country.
He also said: “We want autopsy performed and the report published before he is buried. There is no way it was a natural death. We want to establish beyond doubt whether it was a murder or natural death.”
According to Rajan’s uncle Sujon Karmakar, a case was being filed with the Sher-E-Bangla police station.
Sujon claimed his nephew was murdered. He said that Rajan’s wife Dr Krishna Rani Majumder had called Rajan’s mother at around 2:30am and threatened “to commit suicide and ensure Rajan died too.”
He said: “He had no history of diabetes. His sudden death does not seem plausible. We want a thorough investigation to uncover the truth and justice for him.”
Wife and father-in-law hospitalized
At around 11am, Rajan’s wife Krishna and her father Sadhan Chandra Majumder, the incumbent food minister, was admitted to Square Hospital under Dr Protik Dewan, a medicine specialist.
Square Hospital Customer Service Officer Morshed Alam said confirmed their admittance. The Dhaka Tribune has reached out to Square Hospitals for further comments.
The Dhaka Tribune did not find anyone at Rajan and Krishna’s Indira Road residence.
No signs of harm, but past records
Inspector (Investigation) Abul Kalam Azad with the Sher-e-Bangla police station said an initial inquest by Sub-Inspector Jamil Hossain did not reveal any marks of injuries or harm on the body.
Inspector Azad said the police learned of the death at 3pm. When asked why there was a 12 hour delay in the police involvement, he said initial reports said the food minister was hospitalized, and came to know of the death and murder allegations much later.
The police officer also said the body has been sent to Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital for autopsy in order to obtain the cause of death, viscera results, and chemical test results.
Sher-e-Bangla police station Officer-in-Charge Jan-e-Alam Munshi said a complaint has been filed, but the nature of incident has delayed processing the complaint as a case, which will be finalized as more information is uncovered.
Dr Humayun, quoting Sujon, said Rajan was not suffering from any physical ailments.
He noted, however, that Rajan had been admitted to the ICU at Popular Medical College Hospital, Dr Sirajul Islam Medical College & Hospital, and BSMMU on previous occasions citing domestic disputes.
Dr Humayun also claimed that when Rajan was further pressed, he said it was due to torture. He also said that the doctors will pursue all avenues for justice if it is revealed to be a murder.
Dr Shahnewaz Bari, Rajan’s colleague and neighbour, said: “There is a track record of similarly mysterious incidents in his past which compels us to suspect the death. As his well-wishers, we demand a fair and thorough autopsy.”
Hometown explodes with protest
After news of Rajan’s death reached his natal home in North Eklashpur in Noakhali, relatives and acquaintances took to the streets to protest. They also shut down the Maizdi-Begumganj Highway for several hours before police asked them to withdraw.
The air in his family home was heavy with grief as the bereaved wailed unabated.
Rajan’s younger brother Rajib and Uttam, another uncle, accused Krishna of murder.
Uttam said an ordeal several years ago hospitalized Rajan who only managed to survive because Rajan’s mother begged to the food minister for his life.
Our correspondent Ranajit Chandra Kuri from Noakhali contributed to this report