The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Clinic quest for plan of action

The Calcutta Heart Clinic and Hospital Society’s governing body will approach chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and the state human rights commission over Monday’s “police atrocities” on the Salt Lake hospital premises.

According to Ashok Samanta, medical director and member of the hospital’s governing body, the authorities will also hold a meeting with the Indian Medical Association (Calcutta branch) to decide on the course of action.

On Monday, trouble broke out in the hospital, in HG Block, over covering a well behind the staff quarters, which, the society alleges, has been illegally occupied by Urmila Sen Chowdhury, former resident medical officer (RMO) and daughter of Nani Guha, founder of the society. According to the hospital staff, they wanted to cover the well because “children often play near it”. However, Sen Chowdhury protested the move and lodged a complaint.

Sushil Kumar Mukherjee, president of the society, said: “When a force from South Bidhanagar police station came in the morning, we told them that we had covered the well on instructions from Bidhannagar Municipality.” He alleged that the police threatened the staff with dire consequences if they did not remove the cover. Mukherjee added that in the afternoon, a bigger force came and entered the wards. “They arrested 10 people, including Sumit Dutta, on-duty doctor, and some sisters in-charge,” he said. Two employees were hurt in the scuffle, he added.

The police, however, denied such allegations. Sujoy Chanda, SDPO, Salt Lake, said: “The police never entered the hospital building. They simply visited the disputed area behind the RMO quarters.” According to Chanda, Sen Chowdhury’s waterlines were connected to the well. “The hospital staff tried to cover the well and heckled her when she protested,” he said. He added that the visiting force was heckled by hospital employees and their uniforms were torn off. He said those arrested would be produced in Barrackpore court.

Kishan Pradhan, secretary of the society, said Sen Chowdhury was sacked as RMO for negligence of duty and misconduct. “An eviction notice was also served on her for vacating the quarters, but she refused to do so,” Pradhan alleged.

Sen Chowdhury, when contacted, denied the allegations. “Those who are claiming to be new members of the body have no locus standi. This bungalow is not an RMO quarter. My father allotted it to me,” she told Metro. Her husband, Nani Bhushan Sen Chowdhury, told reporters they had complained to the home secretary and minister in charge of transport, Subhas Chakraborty.

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