By Latheef Farook –
Dr Mohamed Shafi of Kurunegala Teaching Hospital who was taken to custody in the wake of the Easter Sunday massacre and was detained for 47 days for questioning before he was released says “he was a victim of professional jealousy and shameful racism among medical professionals”.
Speaking to me about his sufferings he said “the first five days in the custody were extremely difficult. He was confused and did not know what was going on, but later the condition began to improve as the CID started to realize the charges against him were false and there was no evidence against him “.
“The main purpose of this conspiracy is to destroy me and demonize my community as the shameful media did as planned in advance, as part of the conspiracy against Muslim community”, said Dr Shafi.
According to him the country needs to know the truth and the true face of evil forces destroying communal harmony for personal benefits. Therefore, he plans to organize a press conference shortly to expose all those involved and the damage caused to him, his family and the community as a whole. He considers “all those involved in this conspiracy as threat to communal harmony and need to be exposed in the larger interest of the country”.
Born into a middle-class family which firmly believes in education and serve people, Dr Shafi, passed out from Jayewardenepura University in 2003 and joined Kurunegala Teaching Hospital in 2004. In keeping with his family and religious values he chose medicine with the intention of serving people.
His elder sister and brother in law are doctors. His brother is doing management accountant. He married a junior in the medical profession, Imara Nazeer, who worked in the same hospital.
Hand in hand he was involved in social service to help the education of poor in and around the area. This included Rs 100,000 scholarships and most benefitted were relatives of his Sinhalese employees.
As part of this he joined Athugalpura Science Development Academy project and produced more than 30 medical students per annum. As patron of many social service organization he used to advise and help them a great deal.
He did everything with his income. He loved his profession as a noble one and in his work at gynecological and obstetrics department he tried help as many poor people as possible.
All these activities won the hearts and minds of especially Sinhalese who loved him as he helped all alike without racial, religious or any other prejudice.
This caused jealousy among his colleagues in the medical profession. This was the reason why some doctors conspired against him. In this regard he vehemently accused and condemned the role of Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) which he described as a racist mafia spearheaded the campaign against him.
According to him the GMOA reported to have spent around Rs 750,000 to cover up and protect a non-Muslim doctor who was involved in the incident of giving an injection following which a child died. However, GMOA never came forward to help him only because he was a Muslim. Instead GMOA openly played a prominent role in the campaign to destroy his image with lies and deception.
He accused Professor Channa Jayasumana, Director Wirabandra, Deputy Director Chandana Kaendangamuwa, GMOA Kurunegala branch secretary, of openly working against him. They even held a media conference and asked people to complain against him.
He accused GMOA of even pressuring doctors not to support him in any way. One lady doctor was almost threatened by GMOA not to support him.
False allegations against him were a very well-planned conspiracy to harm him. In this regard he also accused Parliamentarians Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila of playing a lead role in this conspiracy only because he was a Muslims and liked by all alike.
As part of this conspiracy even before he was arrested plotters started spreading the rumor that he was about to be arrested. As stated, two policemen came and took him for questioning though there was no complain at all from anyone.
He was kept under police custody and wanted to send him to Kegalle prison. When he asked why, he was told that he was under detention order for three months. However, there was no specific allegation.
They told him not to ask any question and also didn’t allow anyone to visit him. On May 25th he was brought to CID fourth floor Gang Robbery Branch in Colombo where he was subjected to intensive investigation.
It was very tough at the beginning and the CID insisted on me telling the truth assuring that they would protect me if someone tries to create problem. All allegations were later disproved.
He said CID officials were good and once they begin to realize that all allegations against him were false they were lenient. He spent 47 days in custody and slept on a rubber mat without a pillow. He could not sleep without pillow. So filled a water bottle and kept it as pillow to sleep .He found the situation extremely difficult besides mental torture.
The situation was unbearable and he could not believe that he was passing through this ordeal for no fault of him. In fact even nurses were very angry and upset about his plight. Seventy Sinhalese nurses gave strong evidence in sport of him to CID.
All allegations, including allegation of possessing wealth, proved lies and he was confident that truth will triumph. While he was in custody his wife passed through her worst period in life as she could not even go on shopping. Everyone looked at her with suspicion.
Meanwhile he paid tribute to Senior DIG Director Shane Abeyratne and ASP Tesserae for being impartial and doing an excellent job.
Judging from his experience he conclude that there is future for this country as average Sinhalese wanted to live in peace and with the racists who are dividing communities to the detriment of all and destroying the country. They were causing all the unrest in the country.
While accusing GMOA of being totally corrupt, he said that it is time steps are taken to restore the dignity of the noble medical profession.