Call for bravery award in Sikkim doctor’s name
The medical fraternity of Sikkim has extended its support to the call of former chief minister Pawan Chamling for the constitution of a bravery award in the name of Sanjay Upreti, the doctor who was critically injured in a knife attack at the STNM Hospital in Gangtok recently.
They, however, said the first priority now should be to save the life of Upreti who has been undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Siliguri and continues to be in a critical condition.
The state of the health worker, Kalawati Chettri, who, too, was grievously injured in the attack by a man on January 14 is believed to be stable now.
“The suggestion for a bravery award to recognise Sanjay’s exemplary act of courage is welcome. He indeed had gone out of his way to save the life of a staff member on seeing her being attacked with a knife. However, all of us, including the state government, presently are focused on saving his life and the award conversation can be taken up later,” said a doctor.
While expressing shock and sadness at the brutal attack on the duo, Chamling had lauded the “extraordinary courage and outstanding sacrifice” of the doctor in coming to the aid of the woman health worker at the risk to his own life.
“I appeal to the state government to constitute a bravery award in honour of his remarkable bravery displayed to save a desperately injured hospital staff member,” he had said.
The doctor was stabbed multiple times by an allegedly deranged man, Thinley Bhutia, after he tried to thwart the culprit from assaulting the woman worker with a knife inside the STNM Hospital. Both he and the woman were seriously injured in the attack and were first treated at the same hospital and were airlifted to the Siliguri hospital the following day.
Upreti, whose leg had to be amputated, continues to be in a critical condition. “Dr Sanjay is still critical. Kalawati is stable and much better now. She might even come back (to Gangtok),” Pempa T. Bhutia, the director general-cum secretary of the Sikkim health department, told The Telegraph on Sunday.