The Telegraph
Friday , August 31 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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JMCH sets up doc team for Das

- Death row convict on indefinite hunger strike again

Jorhat, Aug. 30: The Jorhat Medical College and Hospital has constituted a four-member team of doctors to examine and monitor the health condition of death row convict Mahendra Nath Das who was admitted to the JMCH last night after he resorted to a fast-unto-death inside his cell at Central Jail Jorhat.

The team of doctors constituted by the superintendent comprises Jawgma Umbon, Pallav Kumar Bhattacharyya (both assistant professors in the department of medicine), registrar Sankarjyoti Parasor, (department of TB and chest) and registrar Alok Jyoti Malakar, (department of cardiology).

Das has been lodged in Central Jail Jorhat since May last year after his mercy petition was rejected by then President Pratibha Patil. He was hospitalised last night after he stopped taking food from Tuesday morning. Jail authorities yesterday admitted him to the JMCH for medical intervention if the convict sticks to an indefinite fast.

Das told prison officials that he had gone on a fast for an indefinite period demanding suspension of his death sentence and freedom from prison.

The superintendent of the JMCH, B.P. Das, told this correspondent today that from examination conducted on the convict, doctors so far had found his condition to be stable. Das, however, is refusing to take food and water and is not allowing the medical staff to put him on a drip.

The superintendent said all health parameters of the convict were normal so far and Das was quite robust. “He has a strong mental will but if he continues to fast then his condition might fall and may need to be put on a drip against his will,” he said. He said such a decision, if needed, has to be taken by the district administration.

Jorhat deputy commissioner R.C. Jain said the district administration would take “appropriate steps” in accordance to the advice of the JMCH doctors and after consulting top prison department officials in Guwahati.

While speaking to reporters this morning from the separate ward of the hospital where he has been lodged, Das said he was fasting indefinitely demanding that he be spared the gallows and the death sentence be suspended and he be immediately set free from the jail.

“I have been behind bars for the last 16 years and now the government or the Supreme Court should release me immediately or otherwise it will be an injustice done to me,” Das said.

He also claimed that he could solve all problems plaguing the state and restore peace in Assam within six months of his release. He said if released, he would tour across the state to interact with all sections of society. Das also defended his act of crime saying he had killed the person “to save himself”.

Earlier twice this year, the death row convict had gone on an indefinite fast but withdrew it after being persuaded by prison officials.

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