| Mithun Chakravarti.
A file picture |
Dibrugarh, July 13: Like his Bollywood namesake, Mithun Chakravarti, too, flirted with danger. Only, it was for real, more like the world-famous crocodile-hunter Steve Irwin.
The 30-year-old Chakravarti was an expert snake-handler and was passionate about their conservation.
Like Irwin, he died at the hands of what he dealt with everyday. Irwin fell to a freak accident when a stingray pierced his heart. Chakravarti died last night after a poisonous cobra bit him at his workplace.
Chakravarti was based at Margherita in Tinsukia district. One of his associates, Rajib Rudra Tariang, said the incident occurred on Friday when Chakravarti was on duty at D1 B.P. Williamson Magor Bio-fuel Ltd.
Another employee said Chakravarti was bitten by a snake twice on his left hand when he went to the toilet during a power cut at 7pm.
“He held the snake with his bare hands and brought it outside, by which time power was restored. There he identified the snake as a monocoelate cobra and saw the bite on his arm. Fearing that the snake could attack other trainees, he asked his friend Dipak Baruah to get a gunny bag to keep the snake so that it could be released later. He complained of dizziness and asked his friend to tie a knot on his injured hand and write down the names of the anti-venom injection. He soon started vomiting, went pale and succumbed to a semiconscious stage,” the employee said.
Chakravarti was immediately rushed to the Civil Hospital in Margherita. However, they were out of anti-venom serum stocks. The doctors referred him to the IOC (AOD) hospital in Digboi, but they, too, did not have any anti-venom injection, a family member said.
Chakravarti’s collected the vials from another hospital and he was injected with the serum after a gap of four hours. By that time he had slipped into a coma and was put on ventilation. He was given altogether nine anti-venom injections, but by then it was too late. He was finally declared dead by the doctors of IOC (AOD) at 9.45 last night.
“Mithun was a famous snake expert in this region. He used to rescue snakes from local residents of Margherita and release them in the jungles,” said Tariang, a lecturer with the Digboi College and a fellow environmentalist.
Chakravarti developed an interest in catching snakes during his schooldays after being influenced by a snake charmer. He is survived by his bride, two brothers, a sister and his mother.