Man swimming across river to India ‘mentally challenged’: union chairman, BGB
03:55 PM, April 27, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:11 PM, April 27, 2020

Man swimming across river to India ‘mentally challenged’: union chairman, BGB

The man, who entered India's Assam by swimming across river on Sunday, did not go there "for Covid-19 treatment", and he is "mentally challenged", says Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) official, local council representatives and doctors.

Abdul Haque (35), hailing from Mamunpur village of Sunamganj's Dowarabazar upazila, swam across the river Kushiyara at Zakiganj border and reached Assam's Mubarakpur village around 7:30 in the morning, our Sylhet correspondent reports quoting BGB sources.

Lt Col Rafiqul Islam, commanding officer of Zakiganj BGB Battalion-19, told The Daily Star, "After trespassing into India, the man was detained by the Indian locals and we were informed by Indian Border Security Force (BSF). That day, a flag meeting of company commander level was organised and the man was handed over to us."

Meanwhile on Sunday, a report published in The Hindustan Times claimed -- quoting BSF's Inspector General JC Nayak -- that the man entered India with fever, seeking treatment of Covid-19.

Denying BSF's claim, Lt Col Rafiqul Islam said, "Contacting people of his home village, we came to know that the man is mentally challenged and was missing for months. With the help of the local municipality representatives, we placed him at Zakiganj upazila health complex."

Contacted, Khandakar Md Mamunur Rashid, chairman of Surma union of Dowarabazar upazila in Sunamganj, said, "Both the man and his brother are somewhat mentally challenged and used to run away from home. His mother told me that he ran off from home around two months ago."

Dr Khaled Ahmed, medical officer of Zakiganj Health Complex, said, "He was mentally unwell when we received him at the hospital, but showed no Covid-19 like symptoms. He was talking incoherently so we could not understand why he entered India."

Dr Mohammad Abdullah Al Mehedy, Zakiganj upazila health and family planning officer, said, "Though he has no Covid-19 symptoms, we took his sample for test as a precautionary measure as he was travelling here and there for no reason."

"After contacting the union chairman of his home village, we sent him home in an ambulance of the hospital, escorted by our representative," he said.

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