The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Doctor beats up doctor, girl dies
- Woken up, medical officer bursts in rage

Behrampore, Sept. 10: A gasping little girl waited for treatment and died as a doctor beat up his colleague for waking him up early in the morning.

The doctor on duty at Gokarna block hospital had sent a health worker to the block medical officer’s quarters on the campus for permission to use an ambulance.

But instead of signing a piece of paper, Dr Sukhendu Biswas marched to the hospital and punched Biswajit Roy.

Then he gave Roy one with a scissors’ butt and hurled a chair at him.

As the fracas went on, the parents tried to take their daughter to the Behrampore Sadar Hospital in a bus. She died on the way.

“I have lost my daughter and all respect for doctors,” said seven-year-old Jhunu Bayen’s mother Purnima.

The girl had caught cold and was running temperature. Tablets given by a quack were of no use and she started having an acute breathing problem around 3.30am today.

Daktarbabu (Roy) referred her to the sadar hospital saying she needed to be put on oxygen immediately. When we told him we were poor and had no transport, he said he could provide us with an ambulance but needed the block officer’s approval,” said Purnima.

“The BMOH (block medical officer) hurled abuses at the woman who went to his house. He came to the hospital and sought an explanation to why I sent her at an odd hour. Then he punched me in my face. As I rose from my chair, he picked up another one and hit me,” said Roy.

What followed left Purnima and Mukul stunned. “There was chaos. Several people were trying to hold back the officer,” Mukul, a farm labourer, said. “We waited with our daughter for the first bus that leaves for Behrampore at 5am. But Jhunu could not make it to the hospital.”

Biswas declined comment. “I have spoken to my superiors,” he said.

In Calcutta, health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra said he has sought a report from Murshidabad district chief medical officer Mangobinda Mondal. “I have a meeting with him tomorrow.”

Roy, who joined the hospital about 225km from Calcutta only about a month ago, got himself admitted to the Behrampore hospital this morning with “chest pain”. He said he had a heart problem.

Roy has lodged a complaint with the district chief medical officer.

Nurse Abha Mukherjee said: “We were shocked to see our boss behave that way. Some Group D employees were trying to pull Dr Biswas away from Dr Roy.”

Mondal confirmed receiving the complaint. “We have started an inquiry,” he said.

About 500 villagers demonstrated at the block hospital with Jhunu’s body, demanding punishment against Biswas.

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