The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Protest after hospital death

Malda, Nov. 19: People ransacked the Gajole rural hospital, attacked the doctors quarters and blocked a state highway after a newborn died at the health facility today.

Seven policemen were injured also in the scuffle. Panic-stricken doctors, nurses and other health employees fled the hospital.

The residents attacked the quarters of the block medical officer, Brindaban Roy, and damaged his car. The house of Debasish Seal, another doctor, and nurses’ quarters were also ransacked. Later, the crowd blocked the Malda-Balurghat state highway for several hours to protest against the “negligence of the doctors”.

Around 9pm, a police team, led by deputy superintendent S. Singh, reached the spot and resorted to lathicharge to lift the blockade. The protesters retaliated by throwing stones, injuring seven policemen who were later hospitalised. The police did a route march to control the situation.

Bali Biswas of Panchpara in Gajole delivered a baby at the hospital around 2pm. The baby died within an hour. Her husband Sonaram alleged that there was no doctor around her when she delivered the baby. “I had requested the doctor to take care of the baby. But I was virtually driven out,” Sonaram said.

Brindaban Roy said the woman had delivered a premature baby. The chief medical officer of health, Srikanta Roy, ordered an inquiry.

The CPM MLA of the area, Sadhan Tudu, alleged that the Congress leadership had incited the villagers.

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