(Top) AMCH junior doctors stage a protest against the murder of Sarita Kumari Toshniwal in Dibrugarh on Friday and (below) ward boy Kero Mech after being taken into custody. Pictures by UB Photos
May 9: A lady doctor was found dead inside the intensive care unit of the gynaecology department of Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH), Dibrugarh, this morning.
The police said her neck had been slit with a sharp weapon between 5am and 6.30am.
A ward boy, who allegedly confessed to the crime, has been arrested.
A nurse found the body of 24-year-old Sarita Kumari Toshniwal, a first-year post-graduate student of gynaecology, around 8am. Her body was covered with a blanket and lying on the bed inside the doctor’s cabin, when the nurse saw it.
Toshniwal was on night shift at the ICU on Thursday. “The night shift ends at 5am and she retired to the doctor’s cabin after her duty ended. The nurses on night shift left the ICU at the same time,” a police source said.
Dibrugarh police said a ward boy, Kero Mech, from Siringhola village, today confessed to killing Sarita as he had been “belittled by her several times”.
“We found scratch marks on Mech’s face, which raised suspicions about his involvement in the crime. He finally confessed before us during interrogation,” a police official said.
Mech, 26, had a fight with his wife earlier in the evening, which was a regular occurrence. He was already in a foul mood and said that Sarita had insulted him again, the police official said.
“We are investigating the incident and exploring whe-ther a surgical scalpel, that was found on the spot of the incident, was used,” he added.
Sarita’s mobile phone records show that she last spoke to her fiancÚ at 5am and a final year post-graduate student, Kajal Das, at 4.45am.
Condemning the incident, chief minister Tarun Gogoi asked Dibrugarh police to ensure a speedy probe and security at the AMCH. He also asked health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to visit the medical college. Gogoi called the AMCH’s principal and superintendent to inquire about the incident.
Sarita hailed from Amolapatty in Sivasagar town. Her father, Kishanlal Toshniwal, is a cloth merchant at Central Market there. He rushed to Dibrugarh after hearing the news.
She was engaged to Roshan Agarwal, a final-year post-graduate student of the medicine department at AMCH, and they were to be married on July 7 this year. Her fiancÚ hails from Nagaon.
Roshan’s father, Satyanarayan, also arrived in Dibrugarh after the incident came to light.
“Initially, we were confused and could not believe that such a girl could be murdered. We hope an investigation will reveal the facts behind the incident,” Roshan’s neighbour, Someswar Hira, said. “We heard about the girl from Roshan during his recent visit home at Kathiatoli,” Hira said.
The neighbours of the Toshniwals said Sarita was a mild-mannered woman. “She was briefly posted at the Dikhowmukh public health centre. It’s hard to believe that a demure girl like her could be murdered in this way,” said Pawan Kejriwal, a neighbour of the Toshniwals.
Sarita’s mother, Krishna, is reportedly in Delhi to shop for her marriage. The Toshniwals have five chil-dren. Sarita was the second among three daughters and two sons.
AMCH doctors and students staged protests in front of the OPD today. A student alleged that there was no security on the college campus. “We demand security for doctors. The authorities should take moral responsibility,” a student said. AMCH is the oldest medical college in the Northeast.
AMCH authorities condemned the incident and sought a thorough probe into the incident.
The Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA) of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) has demanded that the state government provide immediate armed security personnel round-the-clock in all government hospitals to ensure security of the medical staff on duty.
Recently, attendants of a patient had assaulted a paediatrician of Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital in Guwahati. The assailants were arrested but no security was provided for doctors in any of the government hospitals.