The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Police still gathering doctor proof

Behrampore, Sept. 11: Mukul Bayen lodged an FIR today blaming the Gokarna block medical officer for his seven-year-old daughter Jhunu’s death yesterday.

A team from the local Kandi police station went to the hospital last night and questioned Sukhendu Biswas, who beat up his junior colleague for waking him up early in the morning when the girl was gasping for breath.

But Biswas has not been arrested, apparently because the police were busy “gathering evidence” today.

“We will arrest him only when we have collected enough evidence,” said Murshidabad superintendent of police Rahul Srivastava.

Several nurses and Group D staff at the hospital were witness to Biswas’s burst of anger after Biswajit Roy, the doctor on duty, sent a health worker to his quarters for permission to use an ambulance around 4am.

The parents looked on in disbelief, scared nurses huddled in a corner and Group D staff tried to pull their boss away as Biswas punched Roy, hit him with a scissors’ butt and hurled a chair at him.

Mukul and his wife tried to take Jhunu to the sadar hospital in an early-morning bus but she died on the way.

“My daughter died because of the block medical officer. Roy was trying to treat my daughter. The officer did not let him do it,” Mukul said in his complaint.

A police officer said it had to be confirmed whether the girl died because of the delay in treatment.

Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had earlier warned the police against arresting doctors before a “thorough probe conducted by a medical board”. Health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra, too, had hauled up the police for arresting doctors on grounds of negligence.

The doctors’ body, Indian Medical Association, too, has stood by them in the face of allegations of negligence.

But a doctor beating up another doctor in front of a patient on death bed is rare even by Bengal standards.

Roy is also a victim in this case. He was admitted to a hospital yesterday after he felt a pain in the chest following Biswas’s attack.

Biswas, who worked as usual today, again refused to comment. “Please speak to the CMOH (chief medical officer of health),” he said.

Chief medical officer Mangobinda Mondal said a three-member board will be formed to find out whether there was any “medical negligence”.

His assistant, S. Saha, met Roy at the Behrampore hospital today. “I have a meeting with the chief medical officer tomorrow,” Saha said.

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