The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mob runs amok, health bosses stare
- Sorry state back under glare amid allegation and 'confession'

Burdwan, Feb. 6: A mob ransacked a ward and beat up a nurse among other employees at the medical college and hospital here in protest against the death of a patient.

Patients saw in horror about 1,000 people smashing empty saline bottles and windowpanes and baying for doctors' blood.

The incident ' around 11 am ' occurred minutes after commerce and industry minister Nirupam Sen left the premises after inaugurating a regional blood transfusion centre.

However, director of medical education C.R. Maity and health services director Prabhakar Chatterjee were on a dais, about 200 m from the scene of fury, when the mob rushed to the hospital superintendent's chamber and ransacked it.

Moinuddin Sheikh, 28, a resident of Burdwan town, was admitted to the hospital last night with abdominal pain. His relatives alleged negligence on the part of the attending doctor and the rampage ' now common in hospitals after the death of a patient ' by a mob of about 1,000 followed.

Maity and Chatterjee, accompanied by several other officials, rushed to superintendent Sarit Chowdhury's office attracted by the hue and cry.

The duo set up a three-member committee led by Chowdhury and ordered a suo motu inquiry into the death. The body was sent for post-mortem.

Maity said: 'We have sought a report from the committee in 72 hours. We will take action against the doctor concerned as soon as the charges are proved against him.'

Before the probe was ordered, the health directors were virtually gheraoed. A large contingent of lathi-wielding policemen had to literally push the angry crowd back and wriggle out Maity and Chatterjee through a back door.

Hospital officials said Moinuddin was admitted to the cholera ward ' patients with enteric problems are kept there ' close to midnight on Saturday under physician K.S. Roy.

His elder brother, Sheikh Khokon, said the nurse and the doctor were rude when he asked why his brother was being admitted to the ward for patients with enteric diseases.

'My brother was in acute pain and there was no doctor or nurse to attend to him as they had gone to attend a function on the hospital premises. We repeatedly requested whoever we found to arrange for treatment...,' said Khokon.

The doctor was not available for comment today. Khokon said: 'I saw my brother writhing in pain the whole morning, till his body became still around 11.10. Suddenly, a nurse arrived and pushed an oxygen pipe into his nostrils. He must have been dead by then.'

As the news spread, relatives who had come to see him were joined by hundreds of others. Hospital sources said apart from the nurse, four Group-D employees were hit.

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