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Govt official dies after fall

Jan. 29: An official of the state planning and development department died after falling from the third floor of the state secretariat building at Dispur this afternoon.

Police said Prafulla Pran Dutta, 55, a senior research official of the department, fell from the balcony of his office around 2.30pm.

“Dutta was unwell and had high blood pressure,” a senior police officer, who looks after the security of the state secretariat, said. “Probably he felt unwell while coming out of his office and caught the balcony railing for support but fell down. He was rushed to Guwahati Neurological Research Centre Hospital, where he was declared dead.”

“The railing of the balcony is only three-feet high and it is not safe at all. Any person can fall over the railing and die any moment. People can climb the railing and commit suicide too,” an employee of the state secretariat said.

Dutta, who hails from Maloali in Jorhat district of Upper Assam, was staying with his wife at the Assam police staff quarters in Ulubari. His wife Subhalaxmi Deka is an upper division assistant in the district special branch office of the police here.

Dutta’s relatives, employees of the state secretariat and his wife’s colleagues gathered at the hospital after the doctors declared him dead.

His relatives said Dutta had blood pressure and sugar problems and was planning to go to Delhi for treatment next month. “As soon as we got the information, I came rushing to the hospital but he had passed away. He had received internal injuries, as he fell down from the third floor and his head hit the concrete structure,” a relative said.

Dutta’s body will be handed over to his family tomorrow after post-mortem. “As the incident took place late in the afternoon, the post-mortem will be done tomorrow at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, as it is not possible without sunlight. The body has been kept in the GNRC morgue,” a relative said.

The accident has raised questions about safety inside the secretariat.