|Accused Dr Subharanjan Khanra and Abbas Ali Karigar outside the court. Telegraph picture
Krishnagar, July 4: Two doctors have been convicted for killing their colleague who was popular for raising his voice against corruption.
The district sessions court here today convicted five persons, including the two, in connection with the murder of Chandan Sen, a surgeon of Ranaghat Subdivisional Hospital, nearly two-and-a-half years ago.
Nadia sessions judge Raghu Bhattacharya said he had found Subharanjan Khanra and Rahamat Alam, both doctors of the Ranaghat hospital, retired head clerk Sunil Ganguly and Alam’s driver Abbas Ali Karigar guilty of direct involvement in the murder.
“You may be hanged till death,” the judge told the four in a packed courtroom.
“Before delivering the sentence tomorrow morning, I will hear you.”
The judge also found Apurba Sanyal, social welfare officer of the hospital, guilty of wiping out evidence. “For him (Sanyal), the punishment could be imprisonment for seven years,” the judge said.
Bhattacharya acquitted Khanra’s wife Arundhuti, also a doctor, and Ganguly’s son because of lack of evidence.
Sen’s body was found floating in a pond near Ganguly’s house on the night of February 26, 2003. The 52-year-old doctor had gone to a dinner that Ganguly hosted. The post-mortem had found 11 marks of injuries and concluded that death was due to “asphyxia as a result of smothering”.
Public prosecutor Sadhan Mondal said “professional jealousy” was the main motive behind Sen’s murder. “He was regarded as one of the best doctors in the entire subdivision. He was also upright and stood firmly against all kinds of corruption.”
A CID official said police had heard of “various rackets operating in the hospital” and Sen had protested against them. “But, in the course of investigations, we could not establish them,” he added.
Mondal said investigations had also proved that Khanra and Alam encouraged hospital patients to go to nursing homes. But Sen, who was very popular, always used to tell them to approach him at the hospital and said he would “take care of them”, the public prosecutor said.
The CID officer said Sen’s anti-nursing home campaign had angered the convicted doctors and it appears they wanted to take revenge.
Sen’s widow Bidisha was not present in the courtroom. “At last I am relieved. My faith in the Indian judicial system has increased even if police were slow to begin the proper investigation,” she said from Calcutta.
In the courtroom, relatives of the guilty burst into tears. “Lies! Lies! My husband is innocent,” cried Ganguly’s wife Rama.
Khanra’s mother Gayatri wept on her daughter-in-law’s shoulder.