THE KOLKATA Police arrested two touts from SSKM Hospital late Tuesday for allegedly swindling sick people by offering them a bed at the hospital in exchange for money.
Police said the two accused — Sukumar Biswas (44) from Hooghly and Biswanath Chatterjee (48) from South 24-Parganas — had been running their illegal operation for many years. Sources in the police one Sibnath Chatterjee from Bakulbagan had gone to SSKM Hospital on Monday morning with severe stomach pain. While hospital officials told him had said that no beds were vacant, the accused approached him and offered him a bed in exchange for Rs 2,500. They also asked for an advance of Rs 500, without which they refused to make the arrangements.
The victim allegedly paid the money, but could not trace either of the accused later, following which he lodged a complaint at the local police station. On Tuesday, a team from Bhowanipore police station arrested the two while they were in the middle of swindling another patient.
It is alleged that the two touts have often been involved in creating situations that led to ruckus between junior doctors and patients. The junior doctor’s union at SSKM has been demanding the arrest of all touts operating in the hospital for a long time. This arrest comes after two back-to-back incidents where junior doctors were attacked by mobs.
“Police personnel at the SSKM outpost have been asked to conduct periodic checks throughout the day so that no tout can enter the compound, “ said a senior officer.
SSKM authorities, meanwhile, have set up a probe team to look into a complaint of negligence filed by the family one Akash Nayak, who died shortly after being treated and discharged by the hospital. Hospital sources said he was brought to the hospital with intestinal obstruction on Monday night.
After he returned home, his health deteriorated and he had to be brought back to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead on arrival. This triggered tension between the hospital staff and Nayak’s relatives, who alleged negligence in his treatment. On Tuesday morning, his family officially lodged a complaint with the hospital authorities. “A team has been formed to probe the matter and find out if it was a case of negligence or not,” said an official.