LEADING surgeon and owner of Allahabad-based Jeevan Jyoti Hospital, Dr Ashwani Kumar Bansal (62), was shot dead by unidentified shooters while examining a patient, in Keedganj police station area on Thursday evening. Dr A K Bansal breathed his last at around midnight after battling for his life for close to one-and-a-half hours, SHO, Keedganj police station, Santosh Kumar Tyagi said. Following this, doctors here organised protests on Friday to press their demands for adequate security.
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While the exact motive behind the murder is not yet known, police suspect old enmity as a possible reason. The Special Task Force (STF) has been engaged to investigate the case. According to Senior Superintendent of Police, Allahabad, Shalabh Mathur: “CCTV footage of the hospital suggests there were two attackers. They were wearing jackets and jeans, and had covered their faces with scarves. Tension prevails in the city following the incident. Further investigation is on.”
“Video footage collected from cameras installed at the parking lot of the hospital is being scanned to identify the suspects. Patients and their attendants, who were present inside the chamber, claimed they could not see the assailants properly as they had hidden behind the table and chairs after the firing,” Tyagi said.
He added that the assailants used a corridor where the CCTV wasn’t working in order to enter the hospital. Meanwhile, OPDs at most private hospitals and nursing homes across the city were affected as specialists were busy taking part in an emergency meeting convened by the Allahabad Medical Association (AMA).
Talking to reporters ahead of the meeting, AMA president Alok Misra said: “The medical fraternity is saddened over the demise of an accomplished surgeon, and angered over the audacity of the attack. Doctors must unite now and put pressure on the administrative machinery so that the culprits are brought to book at the earliest, and effective measures taken to prevent such instances in future.”
The city unit of the BJP has also condemned the attack. “We are going to submit a memorandum before the district magistrate demanding swift action against those behind the murder of Dr Bansal. The lawlessness that has been prevailing in Uttar Pradesh under Samajwadi Party rule is for all to see. The people will give a befitting reply to the party in power in the Assembly polls,” said party spokesperson Devendra Nath Mishra.
Significantly, in addition to the hospital, Bansal ran a number of training institutes and charitable trusts in the city. He was reportedly locked in property disputes with the city’s notorious land mafia. He was himself named in a number of cases, which included an instance of assault on income tax officials who had conducted a raid on his hospital in 2012. An advocate had also died while undergoing treatment there in 2009, following which fellow lawyers had lodged a murder case against Bansal and other hospital staff.