The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Death protest in hospital

Islampur, Nov. 9: The death of a 23-year-old woman half-an-hour after delivering a baby girl last night prompted her relatives to ransack Islampur Subdivisional Hospital and assault the doctor.

Piyali Karmakar, a resident of Puratan Palli here, was admitted to the hospital yesterday afternoon with labour pain. She died there at 9pm.

Two hours later, Piyali’s relatives stormed into the hospital, allegedly broke the windowpanes and assaulted the gynaecologist, Madhusudan Halder, who had carried out a Caesarean section on her. They had also beaten up the doctor with chappals accusing him of being “negligent”. Other doctors who had come to his rescue were also manhandled. The husband has lodged an FIR against the doctor.

The chairman of the Islampur Municipality, the Congress’s Kanailal Agarwal, who led the agitation at the hospital late in the night, demanded the arrest of the doctor.

The situation was brought under control after a team of policemen headed by subdivisional police officer David Lepcha arrived at the spot.

This morning, supporters of the Youth Congress joined the protest. They gheraoed the superintendent of the hospital. In the afternoon, they laid a siege to the police station, demanding action against the “killer doctor”.

“My wife died because of the doctor’s negligence. I found him drunk when he was taking my wife to the operation theatre around 8pm. But I could not protest then fearing adverse reaction from the hospital,” said Basanta Karmakar.

The baby was fine and the father took her back home today.

According to Basanta, his wife died after an antibiotic injection was administered following the operation. “It is tragic that the newborn could not see her mother alive,” he said.

The acting superintendent of the hospital, Benoy Bera, said he would look into the charges against the doctor. “I have lodged a police complaint against the vandalism.”

While the doctor concerned denied the charges, the chief medical officer of health in the district, S.S. Sahoo, said steps would be taken against the doctor, if proved guilty.

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