The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This PagePrint This Page
Escort brake on bomb witness shift

Oct. 31: The lone survivor in Sunday’s Rampurhat explosion, Netai Das, fighting for life in a local hospital, could not be shifted to Calcutta for want of medical escorts.

Netai, admitted with 95 percent burns, has lost his eyesight. His face has been disfigured and left ear blown off in the explosion that took place apparently when six men were making crude bombs in his two-storeyed mud house at Dakhalbati village in Birbhum district.

Doctors at the Rampurhat General Hospital admitted that they did not have adequate facilities to treat Das and have recommended that he be immediately transferred to the SSKM Hospital in Calcutta.

According to reports at the CID headquarters in Bhabani Bhavan, the district police deliberated throughout the day on whether to take the risk of taking him to Calcutta by train.

Birbhum police sources, however, blamed the doctors, alleging that the authorities at the hospital could not provide nurses and doctors to accompany Das during the journey to the city.

“How could we take the risk when his condition was so serious'’’ asked the senior deputy superintendent of Birbhum police.

The doctors said they “were understaffed today’’. It was “not possible to spare anybody to accompany Das’’.

Passing the buck continued as Das’ condition did not improve and a team of CID officers monitored his health and moved local officials to ensure that he can be transferred to Calcutta late tonight or early tomorrow.

The CID sleuths said Das is an “extremely important witness’’ in the case. “He has to recover. We have to question him,’’ a senior officer said.

Intelligence sources said they had initially spoken to Das. “He could barely speak but he did manage a few words,’’ they said.

“Netai said his son Anath was close to Basir Sheikh — the man who allegedly ran the bomb plant and was blown up in the blast — and he had forced him to rent out the upper floor of the house to make bombs,’’ said an officer who had spoken to Das.

Police said Das’ two sons, Anath and Sanat, have fled, “probably outside the district”.

Das had said he was with his family when “he decided to peep into the room to find out what Basir and his associates were doing”. “He said he wanted to have a word with Anath,’’ the CID officers said.

Das told the police he had repeatedly warned Basir against stocking explosives in the house.

The forces raided several areas tonight to trace Anath and Sanat but failed to track them down.

Email This PagePrint This Page