Showcause and arrest of private security men
Authorities of Jalpaiguri Medical College & Hospital served showcause notices to three private security men for alleged dereliction of duty in connection with last week’s incident where a patient, Laxmirani Dewan, died in hospital and her son and husband had to carry her body for a few kilometres on their shoulders.
Police also arrested Ankur Das, the secretary of a social organisation, who helped Dewan’s family with a free ambulance, based on a complaint by an association of ambulance drivers that he was conspiring to malign the state government and private ambulance drivers.
Last week, after septuagenarian Laxmirani, a resident of Kranti block in Jalpaiguri, died, her husband Joykrishna and her son Ramprasad alleged that private ambulance drivers near the hospital demanded Rs 3,000 for a ride to their village, which they couldn’t pay.
They set off on foot with the body.
They walked for nearly 2 km, not 4km as was reported earlier. Eventually, Ankur arranged a free ambulance.
Hospital authorities formed a five-member committee to probe the case. On Wednesday, the panel gave its report.
“Based on the report, we served notices to three private security guards,” said hospital superintendent Kalyan Khan.
Hospital sources said the guards should have ensured the body was taken properly in an ambulance or a hearse, but didn’t intervene.
Dilip Das, the secretary of an association of drivers of private ambulances, filed a complaint against Ankur at Kotwali police station.
“Ankur Das, instead of immediately helping the duo, kept himself busy clicking photos and shooting videos. It was done in a planner manner to malign the state health department and private ambulances,” Das said.
Based on his complaint, Ankur was called to the police station on Tuesday. Police officers interrogated him for hours. He was arrested later at night.
“He has been arrested on the basis of a complaint. We need to interrogate him further,” said Biswasjit Mahato, SP, Jalpaiguri.
On Wednesday, he was produced at a local court, which heard the case and sent him in police custody for four days.
His lawyer Sobhan Sarkar said: “My client didn’t go there to malign the government. He went there to help the poor family.”