The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Protest threat over boy-death probe

Siliguri, June 21: Backed by over a dozen organisations, the father of six-and-a-half-year-old Sarfaraz Hussain today threatened a series of protests, including a general strike, in the town if police failed to act against the medics he held responsible for the death of his son.

“We will resort to a general strike if the local police administration fails to punish the negligent doctors and nursing staff of the Siliguri sub-divisional hospital responsible for the death of my son,” said Nurul Islam.

A committee set up by the state health department to probe the allegation of negligence levelled at some doctors and nurses by Islam in an FIR has indicted the hospital in a report submitted to the director of health services on June 3.

Sarfaraz, who was running a high temperature and suffering from severe pain in his right knee, had died at the hospital on May 10, hours after he was admitted.

Supporting Islam’s fight for justice, representatives of several social and political organisations took out a procession today and submitted a memorandum to Siliguri additional superintendent of police Rajeev Mishra.

Islam said if the police did not bring the guilty to book, they would resort to a series of protests that could disrupt law and order. “Even after the probe committee indicted the hospital for negligence, the local police are going about their investigation in a lackadaisical manner. They have not bothered to take the matter seriously and are playing with the sentiments of the people of Siliguri,” he added.

“We will not be responsible if our agitation programmes take a serious turn,” Islam said, adding that they are discussing a date for the general strike.

Countering Islam’s allegations, Mishra said: “Investigation into the case is on. As for the state health department probe report, it has indicated general negligence, and there are no criminal aspects for us to act upon. A case under Section 304A — culpable homicide not amounting to murder — has been registered. We are following all the leads and trying to establish the facts.”

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