Around a month after two junior doctors of Nil Ratan Sircar (NRS) Hospital in Kolkata were allegedly assaulted by the relatives of a 75-year-old patient who died on June 10, police have slapped an attempt to murder charge on the five accused.
As per sources, a Sealdah court Monday granted the police the permission to slap the stringent section in the case.
Mohammed Shehnawaz, Adil Hadun, Adil Seikh, Mohammed Yasuf and Mohammed Badal — relatives of Mohammed Syed — were earlier booked under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful Assembly), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by throwing chemical) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by means of dangerous weapon) of the Indian Penal Code.
They were arrested and the Sealdah court had granted them bail, turning down the public prosecutor’s plea to extend their judicial custody. The bail was granted against a bond of Rs 2,000 each.
Junior doctors, who started a protest that spread across the country, had questioned the police’s intention and alleged that the bail was granted due to lack of evidence.
During a joint meeting with the police, health officials and junior doctors of the NRS, the junior doctors had demanded that stringent sections be slapped against the accused. They had also questioned the police on not booking the accused under IPC section 307 (attempt to Murder).
Police are not denying that the accused may be rearrested under the fresh attempt to murder charge.
A senior police officer Tuesday said an investigation is underway. “Action will be taken as per law. There was enough evidence to establish attempt to murder charge, hence an appeal was made,” said the police officer.
Police then looked for an eyewitness who saw junior doctor, Paribaha Mukherjee, being assaulted allegedly by the relatives of Mohammad Syed who was declared dead, citing cardiac arrest as the reason.
Police recorded his statement, following which the appeal to add section 307 in the case was made before the Sealdah magistrate’s court.
“They (police) should have done this (adding the stringent charge) much before. Paribaha fought for his life. What took them so much time to add this section in the case? However, we hope actions will be taken too,” said a junior doctor, who was a part of the strike, on the condition of anonymity.
Dr Mukherjee had received a skull injury when a mob, comprising over 200 people, attacked the NRS Hospital, alleging medical negligence.
Paribaha had a dent in skull, which had to be treated by surgery, while another junior doctor was critically injured too.