The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Doctor death mystery lingers despite disclaimer

March 14: Mystery shrouds the death of Chandan Sen, the doctor at Ranaghat sub-divisional hospital in Nadia. His body was recovered from a pond in Nokari, close to Ainsmali in Dhantola where dacoits robbed passengers of two buses returning from weddings and raped or molested the women.

The Indian Medical Association’s Calcutta chapter had met chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee yesterday and alleged that Sen was murdered for having conducted medical tests on the rape victims.

But Nadia’s chief medical officer of health Prabhas Chowdhury said: “The medical examination of the alleged rape victims was done by gynaecologist Dola Sengupta at the sub-divisional hospital, not Chandan Sen.”

The secretary of the IMA’s city chapter, R.D. Dubey, today said: “Sen’s uncle Bhupen Sengupta had complained yesterday that he was killed for compiling the rape reports. We failed to contact the hospital superintendent to confirm the facts. But we met the chief minister and demanded an inquiry. If necessary, we will demand a CBI probe.”

Sen, who has been in the hospital for the past seven years, went missing on February 26 from his Ranaghat quarters. His body was found from a shallow pond late that night.

Police said Sen had gone to attend the farewell dinner of the hospital’s head clerk. They described his death as “unnatural”. The police are still waiting for the forensic and post-mortem reports.

The Telegraph spoke to Sen’s wife Bidisha at her Baguihati residence and some of his friends to find out what actually happened.

Bidisha does not know yet whether the Dhantola incident had a role in her husband’s death. “I believe, it was not a heart attack. He recently started protesting against the irregularities in the hospital in which a section of his own colleagues was involved,” she said.

Bidisha, who went to Ranaghat a day after the body was found, raised some pertinent points.

“The water-level in the pond from where the body was found was ankle-deep. Had he fallen into the pond following a heart attack, the body would have been recovered from close to the bank. It was found lying in the middle of the pond,” said the widow.

Sen’s colleagues were among the first to spot him in the pond, said Bidisha. It is a mystery how they managed to locate him in the dark.

A senior doctor of the hospital said: “Sen was an orthopedic surgeon and he was medically fit. Everything — from blood pressure and sugar to cholesterol levels — was perfect. It is hard to believe that he died suddenly of a heart attack.”

A police team from Nadia will go to Calcutta tomorrow to speak to Bidisha.

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