Why has Shahed not been arrested yet?

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Monday unearthed deceptive activities of two hospitals under the Regent Group.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Monday unearthed deceptive activities of two hospitals under the Regent Group.

When the people in the country are in a big danger due to the novel coronavirus, the two hospitals of the Regent Group and its owner Mohammad Shahed not only cheated the people, but also put their lives in extreme risk.

People came to the hospital from far and wide for coronavirus tests. It is very shocking to find that a hospital or its owner can cheat people regarding coronavirus tests in this dire situation. And that too after getting the approval from our Department of Health.

According to newspaper reports, two hospitals owned by Mohammad Shahed provided false test reports to 6,000 people, without carrying out any examination in the labs. A newspaper called it a ‘bucket test’, several samples of which were recovered by the law enforcement.

Giving a positive or negative certificate to 6,000 people without testing means putting them and the people around them in grave danger. When an infected person gets a negative certificate, he walks out without knowing how he might affect those who come in contact with him. On the other hand, when a healthy person gets certified as infected, his life turns upside down.

The question is where did Mohammad Shahed get the courage to commit this heinous crime? Where does this strength of his come from? The information and pictures that have been published on social media shows that he is close to many members of the society, including the ministers and MPs of the ruling party.

Shahed was once involved in BNP politics. After the change of power, he joined the Awami League and became a member of the party’s international committee.

Shammi Ahmed, general secretary of the sub- committee on international affairs of the Awami League’s central committee, said Shahed Karim is no more a member of the committee. He attended some meetings occasionally and he had been a member in the past.

The second and most important question is how did the Department of Health reach an agreement with this person regarding the treatment and testing of coronavirus cases? This hospital has no valid licence, which had expired in 2014. Failing to detect its scheme is a major failure of the authorities. By signing an agreement with that hospital, the Department of Health has presented itself as a non-functioning organisation.

It is not uncommon to have a relationship or transaction of interest behind this agreement. According to the agreement with the health department, both the hospitals of Mohammad Shahed took large sums of money even though they were supposed to provide free coronavirus tests and treatment to the patients.

In the name of COVID-19 tests alone, they have swindled Tk 30 million. He had submitted a hefty bill to the Department of Health saying that the hospital gave free treatment to the patients.

RAB deserves plaudits for catching such a fraud. They have detained 16 accused besides sealing those two hospitals off. But Shahed, the mastermind, escaped. He should be arrested and brought to justice immediately.

At the same time, people under whose shelter these culprits become poisonous to society should be unmasked. A transparent and credible investigation should be carried out immediately into the activities of the Department of Health and its officials.

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