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Doc slapped in attendance tiff

- Junior alleges he was marked absent wrongfully
The Chakdah State General Hospital

Chakdah, Jan. 7: The superintendent of a government hospital today allegedly slapped a doctor when he sought an explanation for being marked absent on a day he was supposedly “not assigned any duty”.

Moloy Raj Chanda, the superintendent of Chakdah State General Hospital, was arrested after the doctor, Biswajit Sen, lodged a police complaint.

Chanda, Sen alleged, punched and kicked him in front of patients when he asked why he was marked absent on Saturday. “I was not assigned any duty in Saturday’s roster drawn up by the superintendent. I asked him the reason for marking me absent. But he abused me and then punched me in the face and chest. He also kicked me when I fell to the ground,” Sen said.

Sen suffered bruises on his face and left leg. He was admitted to the Chakdah hospital.

Chanda refuted the allegations. “He was abusing me. He pushed me and I reacted only in self-defence.”

Chanda, who had marked 10 doctors absent on Saturday, said: “It was a pre-planned attack by the doctors. They threatened me along with activists of a political party. They also hurled abuses.”

Sources said the other nine doctors, who were supposed to be on duty on Saturday, had not come to the hospital. Absenteeism among doctors is cause for concern in district and rural hospitals, where physicians from the cities often skip duty and see patients in private chambers.

Soon after the incident today, the hospital doctors — most of them members of the Trinamul-backed Progressive Service Doctors’ Association — gheraoed the superintendent.

The superintendent called the police, who detained him after Sen lodged a complaint. Chanda was later arrested on the charges of assault.

The superintendent has also lodged a complaint against Sen, accusing him of attacking first.

Nadia superintendent of police S.R. Mishra said: “We have arrested the hospital superintendent. We questioned the other doctor and released him.”

The chief medical officer of health in Nadia, Arijit Halder, said: “I have instructed the deputy CMOH Dibyendu Chakraborty to investigate and submit a report.”

Minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharjee termed the incident “unfortunate”. “I have sought a report from the director of health services. The law will take its course. The government will not make any compromise on the attendance of doctors.”