The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Admitted to hospital, found in police morgue

Burdwan, Oct. 9: Relatives of a 39-year-old male patient missing from Burdwan Medical College and Hospital have found his lifeless body at a local police morgue.

Nikhil Roy, a resident of Birampur village in Hooghly’s Goghat police station area, was brought to the hospital for treatment by his relatives on September 29 after he complained of severe pain in the abdomen. He was admitted the same day.

When his relatives went to visit him the next day, he could not be found. They promptly lodged a complaint with the hospital authorities. “We searched for him (Nikhil) at every nook and corner of the hospital as well as the neighbourhoods adjacent to the hospital. But we could not find him anywhere,” said Dharma Santra, Nikhil’s relative.

Since September 30, they visited the hospital everyday, hoping for some news about the ailing Nikhil. “Yesterday morning, as we were sitting in a tea-stall near the hospital, some passers-by told us they had seen an unidentified body lying on a road on September 30. It was taken to a local morgue,” said Gobinda Roy, Nikhil’s brother.

They immediately rushed to Burdwan police station and requested the officials there to show them the body at the morgue.

“To our utter astonishment, we found that the body was his (Nikhil’s). But we still have not been able to find out why and how he left (or was taken away from) the hospital,” Gobinda said.

The police, too, failed to throw any light on the mystery. The body was found lying on the road about four kilometres away from the hospital, officers said.

Nikhil’s relatives said when they saw the body in the morgue, they noticed the needle — through which he was being administered saline — still embedded in his wrist.

“The needle in his wrist indicated that he was a patient. The police had also informed the hospital authorities about this. We wonder why the hospital did not react. They told us nothing about this though we met them almost everyday since September 30 and pestered them for information,” one of Nikhil’s relatives alleged.

M. Murshed, deputy superintendent of Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, said: “There was adequate security in the hospital. Nikhil Roy was admitted to one of the male wards of the hospital. The doctors and nurses have to look after many patients. We can do nothing if a patient runs away from the hospital.”

A local voluntary organisation has threatened to appeal to the consumer court, demanding action against the negligence of the hospital authorities. “The victim’s relatives are very poor. We will take up the matter with the consumer court,” said K. Abedin, secretary of the Consumer Protection Centre.

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