Each of the three floors of Mind Aid has a soundproof room, in one of which Anisul Karim Shipon, a senior assistant superintendent of police, was beaten to death by employees of the mental health hospital.
There are at least five doors on the passage to the first-floor cell, six feet long and four feet wide, where Anisul died on Monday.
The owners of the private facility in Dhaka’s Adabor used a veranda to build the cell. They used a layer of four-inch-thick sponge and cloth to pad the cell. The door was also padded to reduce noise.
With no ventilator shaft or window, the room has an air-conditioner and a CCTV camera.
anmay Prakash Biswas, a former director of Pabna Mental Hospital, said some rooms need to be padded so that the patients cannot injure themselves, but these rooms must have windows.
“It’s totally wrong to torture patients,” he added.
Dr Abu Hossain Md Moinul Ahsan, civil surgeon of Dhaka, visited the “psychiatry and de-addiction” hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Moinul said such small rooms as the one where Anisul was beaten are never required to treat mentally ill patients.
Harunor Rashid, the deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Tejgaon zone, said the entire facility appeared to be a prison without any open space. “Every inch of the building has been used. Even the veranda has been turned into rooms without ventilation.”
The reception desk and the cash counter are on the ground floor of the hospital. On the first floor, the dining room has a pool table. Each of the four bedrooms has six to seven single beds. The second floor has a study, a six-bed ward and two cabins.
The family took Anisul, 35, an assistant commissioner of traffic department at Barishal Metropolitan Police, for mental health treatment.
Sharmin Akter, one of the hospital employees, said Anisul appeared normal and he climbed the stairs with the other employees to the first floor.
“Suddenly everyone was in a hurry and I heard people shouting on the first floor. Someone was shouting – ‘Oxygen, oxygen,’” Sharmin said.
Sharmin also rushed to the first floor at the time and saw the doctor coming afterwards. The doctor tried hard, but Anisul lay there motionless.