The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Doctor battered for death
- Mob goes after gynaecologist for stillborn child

Burdwan, July 21: Suprakash Bhattacharya, a gynaecologist, was abducted from his chamber and thrashed to unconsciousness by a mob angry after a woman delivered a stillborn baby at a nursing home here this morning.

The doctor had been monitoring the pregnancy of Swapna Sen, who began experiencing labour pains yesterday. Her husband, Biswajit, and relatives admitted her to the medical college hospital here. Bhattacharya transferred her to a private nursing home yesterday afternoon.

Police sources said when Swapna’s condition began deteriorating, her relatives lost faith in Bhattacharya and took her to another nursing home in the Khoshbagan area of the town. Swapna was admitted there under another doctor, Tapan Mondol.

Around noon, Swapna gave birth to the stillborn child in the second nursing home.

It is still not clear who fuelled the onslaught on Bhattacharya’s chamber. Anup Gupta, a doctor who occupies an adjacent chamber, said the mob rushed into Bhattacharya’s room and began beating him up. The gynaecologist had other patients in the chamber then.

“They ransacked the chamber, smashed the computer, drove away the patients and the compounder, overturned his car parked outside and took Bhattacharya away, all the while raining blows on him,” said Gupta.

Swapna’s husband and two other men have been arrested in connection with the incident.

The police recovered a battered and unconscious Bhattacharya from Golapparag, about 3 km from the chamber. His condition was said to be serious. He was shifted to SSKM Hospital in Calcutta from the medical college hospital here late in the evening.

The district branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) called for an agitation and more than 200 doctors went on an indefinite ceasework. The medical college hospital functioned normally but doctors stayed away from private clinics and nursing homes, demanding protection from such attacks.

Sub-divisional officer Nabagopal Hira said Biswajit and the two others were picked up following an FIR filed by Bhattacharya’s compounder. “We have asked for a detailed report from the police. We will conduct an inquiry after we receive the report,” said Hira.

IMA district secretary Shankar Prasad Nag said the association had reviewed the circumstances which led to Bhattacharya’s assault. “He wanted to deliver the baby under caesarean section last evening but Swapna’s relatives took more than two hours to make up their minds. During this period, the unborn baby died of suffocation,” Nag said.

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