The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mystery veils hospital death
- Technician found dead on surgery table after unplanned night halt

The mysterious death of a young technician, in the operating theatre (OT) of the healthcare institute where he was working, has raised the spectre of suicide and fuelled talk of foul play.

“Initial findings suggest Saurabh Sil, 26, found dead on Sunday morning, committed suicide,” said a South 24-Parganas police officer. “But we have registered a case of unnatural death, as we do not have any conclusive evidence of either suicide or murder.”

Forensic experts said, however, that proving Saurabh took his own life “will not be easy”. The probable cause of death — two 10-cc ampoules filled with anaesthetic drugs — did not suggest suicide, as only 2 cc of the drug could cause immediate paralysis, they added. “How does a man who is paralysed push in the rest of the drug'” they asked. Besides, the point and angle of penetration of the syringe rendered the suicide theory “implausible”.

Saurabh was working for the past two years at Peerless Hospital. He was shifted to the National Neurosciences Centre (NNC) — a floor above — a year ago as part of a “mutual agreement” between the two institutes. He was due to leave for a course in the United Kingdom shortly.

Saurabh was to return to his Batanagar home on Saturday evening after attending the birthday celebrations of the daughter of an institute doctor. But as it got late at Tangra, he decided to spend the night at NNC. He never returned home.

His father, general manager of Lansdowne Nursing Home, Prafulla Sil, was called to the NNC on Sunday morning, where he found Saurabh lying dead on an operating table, wearing the OT gown and cap, with his clothes and slippers strewn around the room. The two ampoules were in his personal locker, police said.

On Saturday night, when Prafulla Sil contacted his son on the cellphone of Sisir Das, whose daughter’s party he was at, Saurabh told him it was too late to return home and he would stay over at NNC. The next morning, Sil called up NNC around 8, to be told his son was sleeping. The second call, a couple of hours later, fetched the reply that Saurabh was not responding to knocks on his door. Then came the call asking him to rush to NNC. But it was all over by then.

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