Doc suicide sucks BCCL into row

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By NAMITA CHOURASIA in Dhanbad
  • Published 4.06.05
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Dhanbad, June 4: The suicide of a 57-year-old paediatric this morning has sucked the top functionaries of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) and the Central Hospital in Dhanbad, where he worked for 28 years, into a controversy over whether natural justice was meted out to the ailing man.

Dilip Kumar Mukhopadhyay was found hanging from a tree in the backyard of his home at the BCCL Doctors? Colony in Dhanbad.

A note recovered from his bedroom, which carried the signature of the doctor, read, ?The peripheral vascular disease has left me severely crippled. I am suffering from depression for few months?out of frustration I am leaving this world in a manner I hated the most.? The note was signed at 3.45 am.

Mukhopadhyay?s elder son Shauvik Mukherjee has, however, accused the director personnel of BCCL, Dinesh Chandra Garg, the chief medical superintendent of Central Hospital, H.C. Pannigrahi, and the hospital?s personnel manager of being responsible for his father?s death.

These men, said the 25-year-old law student in a written complaint, did nothing to stop the sudden transfer of his ailing father to CCL. What was even more surprising was that Mukhopadhyay had only two-and-seven-months left for his retirement and had a valid reason (health grounds) for not being transferred.

Earlier on June 24, 2004, the doctor was taken ill and had to be admitted to Central Hospital. Later, after being diagnosed with peripheral cardiovascular disorder at Vellore, Mukhopadhyay had requested Garg and the hospital?s personnel manager to issue a certificate on his health status so that he could urge Coal India Limited, of which BCCL and CCL are subsidiaries, to stop his transfer.

According to Shauvik, the hospital authorities ignored his father?s case, despite repeated requests, since he was not ?a blue-eyed boy of the hospital management?.

On August 12, Mukhopadhyay suffered a massive heart attack and failed to join the CCL. His salary was, subsequently, stopped, forcing him to move to the CCL headquarters in Ranchi on May 23, this year. But the worse was yet to come.

?My father was told there that he would be posted at some remote area hospital as there was no vacancy at the headquarters, despite them knowing about his health condition. He fell sick again and became more depressed,? said Shauvik.

In the face of a public demand for arrest of the trio, senior police officers indicated that the accused could be booked under the non-bailable section for abetting suicide.

Pannigrahi, however, expressed ignorance on the entire matter when contacted while Garg described it as an ?unfortunate incident?.