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Flee bid prompts guard at bedside

Tahir Hussain, the Trinamul supporter injured in Tuesday’s violence in Garden Reach, is suspected to have been plotting an escape from hospital on Wednesday, forcing the police to post a guard at his bedside.

“On Wednesday morning, officials from CMRI Hospital called us and sought a guard for Tahir because they thought he was trying to flee. So a cop is there at his bedside round-the-clock,” an officer of Alipore police station said on Thursday. The hospital, too, has arranged a guard for him.

The 26-year-old, admitted with an injury in the left palm, is being treated in a general ward on the fourth floor of the Alipore hospital. He underwent an operation on Tuesday evening.

The security staff at the hospital noticed Tahir had been behaving “abnormally” since Wednesday morning and alerted the authorities. “He was frequently going to the toilet. We feared he was trying to find a way to sneak out through the toilet,” said a hospital source.

This, coupled with Tahir’s repeated pleas to doctors to let him go home (“hum ko ghar jaane do sahab”), set alarm bells ringing.

Tahir had told Metro that he was a Trinamul supporter and hit by a bullet while standing in front of the gate of Harimohan Ghose College.

The doctors released Tahir around 11am but the hospital management refused to let the police take him away for interrogation as his family was yet to pay the bill.

At the time of discharge, Tahir owed the hospital Rs 32,385.

“We are waiting for the patient’s relatives to clear the bill. They didn’t turn up today. We’ll send them a reminder tomorrow and also inform the police,” said Rupak Barua, the chief operating officer of the hospital.

The management had handed a letter stating the dues to two women who had come to visit the accused on Wednesday evening. One of them identified herself as Sajida Khatun, Tahir’s sister-in-law, and the other as Tarannum Begum, his elder sister.

The relatives promised they would come the next morning and pay the bill. Officers from Garden Reach police station turned up at 10.30am to take Tahir in their custody for interrogation but there was no sign of any relative of the youth. “No one from the family showed up for the entire day. We tried to call the numbers provided to us but the phones were all switched off,” said a hospital official.

When the police wanted to take Tahir away, the hospital raised objections, citing non-payment of dues.

The cops then handed a letter to the hospital, which read: “You are hereby requested that the patient may not be released without the prior intimation to this police station as he is required for the purpose of investigation.”

The letter was signed by the officer-in-charge of the Garden Reach police station and the investigation officer of the case.

The letter referred to the IPC sections under which the Garden Reach violence case has been registered. Some of them are 143 (unlawful assembly), 148 (rioting and armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly in group) and 307 (attempt to murder).