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Chhatra League leader threatens Sylhet female doctor with rape

  • Published at 04:47 pm May 11th, 2019
Intern doctors protest questioning the security of the workplace as Chhatra League leader threatens to rape female doctor in Sylhet Women's Medical College and Hospital on Thursday, May 9, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The leader, a former Chhatra League vice-president, also threatened to murder her

A Chhatra League leader has been accused of threatening to rape an intern female doctor at Sylhet Women's Medical College and Hospital.

Sarwar Hossain, a former vice-president of Sylhet Chhatra League, also reportedly threatened to murder Dr Nazifa Anjum Nishat at the hospital premises on Thursday afternoon.

Official action being considered

Additional Deputy Commissioner (media) of Sylhet Metropolitan Police, Zedan al Musa, said: "A General Diary (GD) has been filed by the Sylhet Women's Medical College and Hospital authorities on Saturday. We are looking into the matter. Appropriate action will be taken soon."

Wishing to stay anonymous, a director of Sylhet Women's Medical College and Hospital had earlier said: "We were trying to reach a solution through mediation. But being unsuccessful at it we filed a General Diary with Sylhet Metropolitan Police."

Bullying in the examination room

According to Nishat's Facebook post, on Thursday afternoon a group of 15 to 16 men came with a patient to the Urology Department. As the duty doctor, Nishat received and admitted the patient for treatment.

"While taking the patient's history, I politely told them that only one person could stay with the patient, according to hospital protocol. The rest had to leave," Nishat's post said. "But they all refused to leave."

The group told her she had to treat the patient in front of all of them. Finally, after repeated requests, most of the group started to scatter.

"Three of them stood by," Nishat said. "And when I started to examine the patient, most of the group came back inside the room."

When Nishat protested, Sarwar, one of the group, started to hurl abuses at her.

He said: 'The patient is a Chhatra League president. You will treat him in front of us,'" Nishat said in her post. "When I told them the patient's designation did not matter, and that everyone still had to leave, Sarwar started swearing at me."

At one point, Nishat broke into tears and ran to another room to complain to her seniors, but Sarwar followed her.

"He took out a knife and brandishing it in front of me, threatened me with murder," Nishat's post said.

Sarwar also shouted for her to apologize to him. "He said: 'Just wait until you get out of the room. I am going to rape you.'"

Security for medical professionals

Protesting the abusive behaviour against her at herduty  post, Nishat said: "Where is the guarantee of my security, the security of a duty doctor? How long will we remain hostages to the abuse of political power?"

The doctors at Sylhet Women's Medical College and Hospital said an individual publicly threatening a doctor with rape and murder at their own hospital has put them in fear for their own safety.

They observed a break in their service from Thursday afternoon, and only resumed their services upon the hospital authorities' reassurances after 10:30pm.

Seeking anonymity, an assistant director of Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College, said: "The entire medical community is shell-shocked by the incident. We cannot accept this kind of behaviour."

Sylhet Women's Medical College and Hospital Director, Dr Ferdous Hasan, said: "They acted like criminals. But we cannot retaliate, nor can we stop providing services. We have to undertake our responsibilities, bearing all the injustice.”

Perpetrator’s explanation

Sarwar said he only reacted after Nishat made derogatory remarks about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

"I came to the hospital to admit a friend, but when we came, nobody was there to receive us," he claimed. "When a doctor finally arrived, she said all of us had to leave or she would not treat the patient."

When Sarwar refused to leave the patient's side, the doctor said not even Sheikh Hasina would receive treatment at her hospital if everyone did not leave, he claimed. "I became angry at her remarks and misbehaved with her."

Sarwar added: "The hospital authorities called me to solve the problem. We will deal with the issue amongst ourselves."

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