More than nine years after he slipped into coma after testing a medicine he had prescribed to a patient, an ayurveda practitioner from a Kerala government dispensary in Bison Valley of Idukki district died Monday.
In January 2007, P A Baiju, then 37 years old, consumed the medicine, not knowing that it had been poisoned by the patient’s husband following a domestic brawl — the accused later told the police that he had meant to kill his wife.
The incident occurred nine months after Baiju got a government job. His wife Shiny, also an ayurveda practitioner, was Baiju’s classmate.
According to police and his former colleagues, a woman patient named Santhamma consulted Baiju on January 24, 2007 with complaints of joint pain. Baiju, who was a popular ayurveda practitioner in the region, prescribed a medicine called “rasna panchakam”, which the woman bought from a store.
Santhamma reportedly fainted after consuming a dose. Baiju, in an effort to prove that his prescription was harmless, took two spoonfuls of it and collapsed immediately. He was taken unconscious to hospital.
Although he regained consciousness after a few days, Baiju relapsed into coma and never came out of it. After testing the medicine, doctors found that it was mixed with pesticide, and that Santhamma was saved since she had taken a small dose.
His brother Biju said their mother Leela nursed Baiju all these years. Stating that the family was helped by Baiju’s colleagues and a government aid of Rs 2 lakh, Biju said they tried all streams of treatment but Baiju did not respond.
Acting on a complaint from Baiju’s wife, the police began a probe and found Santhamma’s husband K Rajappan had mixed a pesticide with the medicine. He was arrested on April 5, 2007.
Rajappan has been chargesheeted and the trial is on. “We will inform the court about the doctor’s death. Relevant IPC sections would be framed against him,” an officer said.