BRAJESH KUMAR Shukla (52), a junior warrant officer in the Air Force, left the Command Hospital in Kolkata on May 4 — a day before he was scheduled to be discharged after undergoing a cataract operation. He is yet to be found. Posted at Jorhat in Assam, Brajesh had come to Kolkata on April 26 and got admitted the same day to the hospital for treatment of eye diabetic retinopathy cataract.
“He was operated upon on May 2. The ward boy apparently was the last person who saw him in the hospital. According to the CCTV footage, he left the hospital around 5.30 pm on May 4. He had left his mobile phone and other belongings… As he was scheduled to be discharged on May 5, the hospital discharge slip states that he has been ‘discharged in absentia’,” said son Tarun, who works in the IT sector in Nagpur.
Tarun, who arrived in Kolkata on May 6 evening, went on to lodge a missing complaint at Kolkata Police headquarters Lalbazar on May 8.
“His sudden disappearance has come as a shock to the family, as we last spoke to him on May 3 and everything seemed fine… I had looked for him at railway stations and hospitals but have not been able to find him,” he said.
“My mother is a homemaker. Papa had come here for treatment. As it was a minor surgery, my mother had stayed back in Jorhat,” said Tarun. His brother Arun studies engineering in Nagpur.
Kolkata Region Defence Spokesperson S S Birdi said: “He left the hospital on his own. Efforts are on to trace him. Generally, patients are given a uniform in the hospital. But he was seen leaving the hospital in a shirt and a trouser. The hospital discharged him in absentia.”