The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ranaghat doctor post-mortem confirms murder

Ranaghat (Nadia), March 23: Chandan Sen, the 52-year-old general surgeon of Ranaghat sub-divisional hospital, was murdered, says the post-mortem report submitted to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which is handling the case.

“The death in my opinion was due to the effects of asphyxia as a result of smothering ante-mortem, homicidal in nature; smothering was effected in all probability by means of a plastic bag or similar item,” said Ajay Gupta of the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital who conducted the post-mortem on February 28 in his report.

Sen was found dead in the night of February 26 in a pond adjoining the house of Sunil Ganguly, a clerk attached to the Ranaghat sub-divisional hospital. Sen had gone there to attend a dinner party hosted by Ganguly to mark his retirement.

The post-mortem also rules out that Sen drowned in the pond as was stated earlier. The copy of the report, now in the possession of The Telegraph, says: “There is no evidence of ante-mortem drowning detected.”

Police sources said during the day that Sen might have been murdered by a section of employees at the Ranaghat sub-divisional hospital because he had protested against alleged drug rackets and irregularities there. “He came to know how hospital funds were being misused by a section of the staff and doctors. May be, this spelt his doom,” an official said.

But Opposition parties in Ranaghat and the Indian Medical Association believe Sen’s murder can be traced back to last month’s loot-and-rape incident in Dhantola.

The victims were examined for rape at the hospital where Sen worked. Investigating officials admitted that though the gynaecological test was done by another doctor, Sen was involved in the “initial examination”.

The post-mortem findings are being viewed as a major blow to Nadia police officials, who initially registered a case of unnatural death on the basis of a complaint from the deceased’s brother-in-law.

About 10 days ago, the district intelligence branch (DIB) was handed the case and two DIB officers spoke to the victim’s wife a fortnight after the incident. After getting the post-mortem report, the police arrested a doctor couple, Subharanjan Khara and his wife, and Gautam, Ganguly’s son. Sen was last seen alive with Gautam. A hunt is on for Sunil Ganguly, who is absconding. All the accused have been remanded in judicial custody.

The state home department later asked the CID to probe the case. With the CID taking over the case, the scenario has changed. The CID has to initiate a fresh murder case on the basis of the post-mortem report, which clearly mentions that Sen’s death was “homicidal in nature”.

The post-mortem report also confirmed that the body contained 11 serious injuries on various parts, barring the genitals. There were injuries on his two arms, two limbs, the lower abdomen and even on his backside. Deep-cut injuries were found on his skull, indicating that he had suffered internal haemorrhage.

In the oesophagus, the report said, there were pieces of undigested rice and meat present but not entangled in mucus. CID officials, now scrutinising the post-mortem report, said the presence of food in the oesophagus meant the deceased had not taken water after eating. “Plastic bags or similar items were used to smother Sen while he was taking food,” an official said.

“We are carrying out a marathon interrogation and are confident the truth will come out in a day or two,” said an investigator.

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