Investigation into the murder of Dr Shashwat Pandey, a postgraduate student who was enrolled in the department of radiology at St Stephen’s Hospital, has revealed that the victim had a heated argument with the main suspect in the case over his friendship with a nurse at the hospital around six months ago.
While the suspect, Pandey’s batchmate Dr Suyash Gupta, has been absconding since the incident, police on Sunday questioned Gupta’s parents, and teams have been formed to nab him. Dr Shashwat Pandey (26), was found dead with his throat slit inside the hospital premises on Friday. A hospital attendant saw the body and police were called in around 9 am.
DCP (North) Jatin Narwal said, “After issuing a lookout circular for Dr Suyash Gupta, our teams are now conducting raids to nab him. We have questioned several persons, including Gupta’s parents.”
Sources said that after questioning the hospital staff, police came to know that Gupta and Pandey initially had very good equation and wanted to move into a flat together. However, things worsened when Pandey befriended the nurse and started spending more time with her. “Gupta had started feeling insecure. After being quiet for a few weeks, he snapped and ended up having a bitter and heated argument with Pandey. Following the argument, which took place in front of several hospital staff, Pandey did not move in with him,” said a police officer privy to the details of the case.
A police team questioned Gupta’s parents for a few hours on Sunday and has come to know that he left home after telling his mother that he was going for a movie and would stay over at a friend’s house on August 24.
“He carried his clothes in his bag. After scanning his bank accounts, police have found he has been frequently withdrawing money. In fact, he withdrew around Rs 5 lakh from one of his accounts from an ATM kiosk in Malkaganj area,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, officials at St Stephen’s hospital said that the college administration had set up an inquiry against the suspect, Dr Suyash Gupta, for alleged misbehaviour. He had allegedly stopped Dr Pandey from performing a CT-guided biopsy procedure on a patient on July 11.
“Dr Pandey was supposed to perform a CT-guided biopsy. However, Dr Gupta did not allow Dr Pandey to perform the procedure on the patient. An altercation took place in the presence of the consultant. Things got out control and the head of department (HoD) had to intervene. Dr Gupta was abusive with the HoD as well. After that, senior officials had to intervene. We asked him to go on a leave, and had to suspend him,” said a senior hospital official. The college administration has told to Gupta’s family to appear before the inquiry proceedings on August 30.
Hospital officials also said that Dr Gupta was “strictly instructed” not to enter the campus till the inquiry was complete. “We had given him strict instructions not to come to campus. His photographs had been circulated on campus. However, since we get large number of patients every day, it is tough to track everyone’s entry into the campus. This is why there was a breach of security,” the officials said.
The hospital administration had also communicated to the National Board of Examination about the incidents of misbehaviour involving Dr Gupta.
“He had misbehaved in the hospital earlier, too. The administration had disciplined him. His parents had also been counselled. More importantly, the National Board of Examination was informed. Since he was Diplomate of the National Board (DNB), he came under the NBA. The administration could not rusticate him. But after the July 11 incident, we had to send him on a long leave. His parents have been asked to come to the hospital on August 30 for the inquiry proceedings,” added officials.