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Friday 6 January 2012

Lalbagh Hospital acid burn case - torment still continuing, police, doctor nexus

Torment of Ms. Sikha Bibi is still continuing, lost her first child just after birth whom she conceived for nine months, injuries are visible on her lower part of the body even now; where attending doctor and health workers administered acid or other toxic chemicals, she and her family posed faith upon district police administration for justice and totally disgruntled when found that police is trying to shield the perpetrators; doctor and nurse and in that course even changed their complaint.

Ms. Shikha Bibi, wife of Mr. Jinnat Seikh of village Tiktikipara, Police Station- Murshidabad of district- Murshidabad, has been admitted to Lalbagh Sub Divisional Hospital on 31st October 2011. She delivered a baby on 31st October 2011 at about 5 pm. After the delivery she lost her senses and while she soiled her linens and bed, the attending doctor; Nirmal Kumar Saw directed the on-duty nurses of the said hospital to wipe clean her with a solution, the attending nurses of the labor room; Ms. Shyamali Karmakar and Samapti Biswas put off clothes from Shikha Bibi’s body and tried to clean her up but while it was smelling bad they administered some liquid and poured that liquid from a bottle over her lower part of body and which resulted serious burns at her lower portion of the body. Later, it was revealed that the solution was toxic chemical. The exposed parts were blackened and burnt. Later she delivered a male baby; the baby was also exposed by that liquid over his forehead and started crying. The baby became ill and administered oxygen by the attending doctor and said nurses. One nurse asked for clean clothes for new born baby and Sikha Bibi’s sister-in law handed over the same.

Mr. Jinnat Sk. was in judicial custody (Alipur Jail) when his wife was in hospital to deliver their first issue. Mr. Jinnat Sk. was falsely charged in a kidnapping case. He was released on bail by the court on 1st December 2011.

After half an hour the baby died, allegedly due to the administration of the ‘cleaning’ liquid. The family was in distress. Later the body of the baby buried on 1st November. On 2.11.2011, one Mr. Sadek Seikh residing at village Bagichapara under Murshidabad Police Station; made a complaint before police and hospital against the attending doctor and nurses and demanded justice. Later, the body of the baby was exhumed by one Lokua Dom under order of police and a post mortem examination was done vide UD PS case No. 491/11. The complaint made district health officials nervous and in collusion with police all out efforts were made to shield the attending staffs; the doctors and nurses.   

The whole episode was put into a blanket by the authority and it revealed only after the family members saw the wounds of Ms. Sikha Bibi on 2nd November 2011.

Ms. Usha Hazra, the attending ‘Aaya’ (maid) was made a scapegoat and fabricated as main accused by the collusive personnel from police and health department. Ms. Usha Hazra was arrested on 6th December 2011 from her residence; in between she was described as an absconder. She was in judicial custody now.

On 28. 12. 2011, Ms. Shikha Bibi made a written complaint to Superintendent of Police; Murshidabad, where she categorically said that the complaint as shown in Murshidsbsd PS Case No. 491 is not of her and the signature obtained over there was illegally taken by the doctors and nurses of the hospital by making false impression that this was needed for her better treatment. She even claimed that when she returned home from Lalbagh Hospital on 21 November 2011 and visited Murshidabad police station for making a complaint, the police station informed her that a complaint was already registered and while asked for a copy of that complaint, the police personnel of the said police station refused to impart the same by suggesting to obtain that from the court, violating directives of Criminal Procedure Code (Sub Section (2) of section 154). While she came to know about the content of the complaint she found it as doctored and far from truth, she asked to initiate a new case according to her recent complaint in which she accused the doctor and said nurses for grievous hurt and threatening her. While contacted, Mr. Sadek Seikh, son of Mr. Asadul Seikh of Bagichapara under Murshidabad police station also wrote a letter to us where he claimed that the complaint made by him was dropped and content is totally different from his original complaint.

Ms. Shikha Bibi released from the Lalbag Sub Divisional Hospital on 21.11.2011 and later readmitted on the same hospital on 8.12.2011 and discharged on 3.1.2012 at her wish for better treatment. The district health department with doctors of the Lalbagh Sub Divisional Hospital was well aware of her bodily injury during her stay at the hospital, readmitted her at the said hospital and not referred to other hospital.

The role of investigating agency; Murshidabad police station again exposed, while the Inspector in Charge; Mr. Indrajit Kundu called Mr. Jinnat Seikh, the husband of the victim on 4.01.2012 at 9.56 pm on his mobile phone from a phone with number 03482- 270221 while they were traveling to Kolkata for better treatment. Mr. Indrajit Kundu scolded Jinnat and said “you should reach the police station by 11 am on next day; otherwise you have to face dire consequences. If you will not come by your own, I will drag you to police station. You are threatening hospital staffs”.

The attending doctor and nurses and their brethren at district health department violated the fundamental principles of medical ethics related to the Beneficence and Non- Maleficence. The term beneficence refers to actions that promote the well being of others. In the medical context, this means taking actions that serve the best interests of patients. The concept of non-maleficence is embodied by the phrase, "first, do no harm".

The bereaved family is now taking shelter our short-stay and receiving medical and psychological attention.

All these happenings not only exposed the inadequate, irresponsible health delivery personals at service in our state rather it exposed the systemic failure of the department in large. The collusion between errant departments also put question mark to seeking justice by poor and marginalized.

In this regard I demand:-

  • As it is clear that the attending doctor and nurses having collusion with district health department CMO(H), Murshidabad, Superintendent of Lalbagh hospital and police administration, trying to shield the skins of delinquent act, the event should be thoroughly investigated by an impartial authority.
  • The complaint made by Shikha Bibi to Superintendent of Police on 28.12.2011 and received by his office on 29.12.2011 should be treated as First Information Report.
  • Shikha Bibi should be provided with full and advance medical care, protection and compensation.
  • The attending doctor and nurses on duty should be booked according to the penal provisions.
  • The involved police personnel, doctored and changed original complaint should be booked under specific penal provisions for causing disappearance of evidence of offence to shield the perpetrators
  • Indrajit Kundu; Inspector in Charge of Murshidabad police station should be booked for threatening Jinnat Seikh under specific penal provisions.
  • Ms. Usha Hazra, the “Aaya’’s (maid) role in this incident should be reinvestigated.
With Regards

(Kirity Roy)
Secretary, MASUM
National Convenor, PACTI

Kirity Roy
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
National Convenor (PACTI)
Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity
40A, Barabagan Lane (4th Floor)
Balaji Place
PIN- 712203
Tele-Fax - +91-33-26220843
Phone- +91-33-26220844 / 0845
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