Influential prisoners living in luxury

Mahabub Alam

13 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Three high-profile prisoners are reportedly enjoying a lavish lifestyle at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University for long in the name of better treatment at the infirmary.

According to the hospital insiders, the prisoners have been admitted to the Prison Cell at BSMMU as per the recommendations of the jail authorities that labeled them as serious patients.

The three are expelled Jubo League leader and casino kingpin Ismail Chowdhury Samrat, Golam Kibria Shamim, popularly known as GK Shamim, and former Destiny Group Managing Director Rafiqul Amin.

The prisoners reportedly managed the jail authorities to take better treatment outside the jail.

Sources said the three detainees do not have any such critical syndrome for which they could be allowed to be admitted to the prison cell at BSMMU.

Sources said the so-called patients move around the cell areas freely, have home-made meals breaching laws, meet family and other people linked to their business to carry out necessary activities.

“Members of their families, relatives and followers can meet them as they want. No permission is required for that. What the visitors need is bribe the prison guards,” a staff of the hospital said, asking not to be named.

The Prison Cell signboard reads -- none can meet prisoner without prior written permission from the jail authorities.

Asked about it, BSMMU Director Brig Gen Dr Zulfiquer Ahmed Amin told daily sun he heard about the illegal meetings with the prisoners.

“I have already asked the Prison Cell to take steps about the matter,” he said.

GK Shamim, 55, was admitted to the hospital on April 5 after he was arrested from his GKB and Company Private Ltd Office in the city’s Niketan area on September 20 last year with eight firearms, FDR documents worth Tk1,650 million, Tk180 million in cash and some other valuables.

He is now on the second floor of Prison Cell under the observation of Neurosurgery Department Associate Prof KM Tariqul Islam.

Everyday a driver of GK Shamim brings him favourite dish from his Banani DOHS residence, a hospital staff said, seeking anonymity.      

His family members, relatives and followers visit him whenever they want without the approval from Dhaka Central Jail authorities, added the staff.

Asked about breaching laws, Prison Cell in-charge Abdus Salam denied the allegation, saying the authorities concerned have already installed CCTV cameras in the vicinity.

Over the supply of food, he said the food is being provided from his residence as per the permission of the authorities of the hospital.

But the BSMMU director ran counter to what Salam stated, saying nobody is allowed to take food from outside.

“Patients must take food from the hospital,” the director said, adding that he would take measures so no prisoner can have food from outside.

Amirul Islam, director (Prisons Training Institute) and Muhammad Monzur Hossain, AIG (admin), Department of Prisons, said the prisoners must eat food provided by the hospital and none can meet them without the permission of the jail authorities.

“One must obtain permission from the authorities concerned each time one would like to meet any prisoner,” Monzur Hossain said.

On August 30 afternoon, GK Shamim’s wife entered the BSMMU premises in a red private car (Dhaka Metro Ga-283684).

Later, she entered the Prison Cell wearing a doctor’s uniform without any permission of the jail authorities and spent more than an hour, said a staffer of the Prison Cell.

The staffer added that she wore the uniform to evade the eyes of law enforcers.

When asked, the driver of the car said the daughter of GK Shamim came, not his wife, to meet her father in the cell.

On August 23 morning, being escorted by police and prison guards, GK Shamim was found walking outside the hospital without putting handcuffs on.

Asked about it, Prison Cell in-charge Abdus Salam gave the version that Shamim was taken to a nearby block of the hospital for treatment purposes. 

On walking without handcuffs, Director (Prisons Training Institute) Amirul Islam and AIG (admin) Monzur Hossain of the Department of Prisons declined to make any comment on it.

Former Jubo League president of Dhaka Metropolitan South Unit Ismail Chowdhury Samrat was admitted to BSMMU on October 24, 2019 after he was arrested from Cumilla on October 6 in 2019 for running illegal casino business in the renowned sports clubs.

He is now at Coronary Care Unit-2 (CCU) in Cabin No. 1 of D Block at BSMMU.

He is under the care of Chowdhury Meskat Ahmed, Prof of Cardiology.

Wishing not to be named, an on-duty Ansar of the hospital told this correspondent Samrat is staying here like a VIP.

The JL leaders and activists meet him on a regular basis, said the security staff.

In the guise of a Jubo League activist of Kamrangirchar area, this correspondent approached the member of the Ansar to meet Samrat.

After taking prior permission from Samrat, the Ansar staff told this correspondent to visit Samrat in the afternoon.

The security staff took this correspondent near the bed of Samrat, who was sleeping at that time.

Two staffers and a member of Ansar Battalion said Samrat takes meals from his home every day.

“We provide him with food three times a day, but he does not eat that,” said one of the staff.

Rafiqul Amin, former MD of Destiny Group, a MLM company, which swindled more than Tk40 billion out of the investors, was admitted to Prison Cell on March 11 in 2019 after being arrested in 2012.

He is undergoing treatment under Moniruzzaman Khan, Prof of Physical Medicine at BSMMU.

Wishing anonymity, two staffers of Diet Division at the hospital said they provide him with meals three times a day. Sometimes, he takes breakfast provided by the hospital, but he takes most of his meals from his house every day.

His family members, relatives and other persons visit him on a regular basis.

“If anybody comes to meet him, the prison guards inform him of the matter. If he allows it, the visitor can meet him after bribing the prison guards,” said one of the staffers.

Asked about the health conditions of the three prisoners, BSMMU Director Zulfiquer Ahmed said they are under specialist doctors who could say about this.

Contacted, the three doctors, who are providing them treatment, did not agree to comment on the inmates’ health condition, saying that it is the authority of the hospital director to comment on the issue.