The death of a patient in Kolkata's Neel Ratan Sarkar medical College, popularly known as NRS, turned violent when a large group of relatives and friends attacked a doctor. The accused and the victims belonged to two different religions, and that was reason enough to kick off communal tension in the state
New Delhi: Bengal is going through such a delicate phase that a law and order problem can not only erupt into a communal issue but can also become a political flashpoint.
The death of a patient in Kolkata's Neel Ratan Sarkar medical College, popularly known as NRS, turned violent when a large group of relatives and friends attacked a doctor. The deceased, a 75-year old, was brought in a critical state and chances of survival were slim.
The victim was an on-duty intern, Dr Paribaha Mukherjee, who sustained such fatal injuries that the CT scan of his skull shows a big clear dent. Ideally, it would have been a severe law and order problem, but not in Kolkata.
The accused and the victims belonged to two different religions, and that was reason enough to kick off communal tension in a state where the recently held election witnessed religion based consolidation. It didn't take long for the BJP, which had a "Lalbazar Gherao" on Wednesday against Basirhat violence, to link the brutal attack on the doctor with it.
What is the truth?
There's no denying that the attack indeed took place and it was brutal. So severe was the attack that the frontal right section of the young doctor's head was bludgeoned.
There is also no doubt about the fact that the victim and the accused are from different religions. But what is not confirmed is the claim that the attackers were around 200 in number and came loaded in lorries to the hospital.
Right now, Mukherjee's situation is extremely critical, and he is said to be in a coma. The victim's family alleged, he wasn't given proper care in the immediate aftermath, and also reports suggest no police complaint was filed for hours.
The NRS has gone on strike against the dastardly attack and other hospitals of Bengal are following suit. AIIMS, meanwhile, has issued a statement expressing solidarity. The health minister of Bengal, however, has claimed, four arrests have been made so far.
Political faceoff via communal scare
In Bengal, practically anything can be a political flashpoint where the BJP has made steady progress, and the TMC is fast losing ground. A little after 8 PM on Monday, BJP leader Swapan Dasgupta tweeted, "Paribaha Mukherjea, an intern in Kolkata's NRS Hospital, is struggling for his life. He was beaten up by a group of people who are pampered by the compulsions of vote bank politics. This is why West Bengal is descending into anarchy."
Paribaha Mukherjea, an intern in Kolkata’s NRS Hospital, is struggling for his life. He was beaten up by a group of people who are pampered by the compulsions of vote bank politics. This is why West Bengal is descending into anarchy.— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) June 11, 2019
গতকাল রাতে এনআরএস হাসপাতালে তৃণমূলের মদতপুষ্ট একদল দুষ্কৃতী জুনিয়র ডাক্তারদের উপর হামলা চালায়। যার মধ্যে একজন জুনিয়র ডাক্তার আশঙ্কাজনক অবস্থায় মাথায় চোট পেয়ে আইটিইউতে ভর্তি।— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) June 11, 2019
ডাক্তারদের সুরক্ষা দেওয়া কি সরকারের দায়িত্বের মধ্যে পড়েনা ?
মুখ্যমন্ত্রী কেন নিশ্চুপ ? pic.twitter.com/iuS1MmwSVK
Even the Meghalaya Governer, Tathagata Roy, called the attack an outburst of anger and tweeted.
Gathered fm Kolkata dailies: The assailants who inflicted a skull fracture on Dr Paribaha Mukherjee (now in coma) and seriously injured Dr Yash Tekwani came in two trucks,wearing helmets and carrying rods. This was not a spontaneous outburst of anger; rather a ‘peaceful’ protest— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) June 12, 2019
And so the matter turned both communal and political. No wonder then, that slogans against this were raised on Wednesday's BJP march which was meant to be against political violence, particularly in Sandeshkhali that saw at least three BJP cadre being killed.
Amid "Jai Shri Ram" chants and slogans condemning the Mamata government, few also raised slogans against the NRS act.
The person who died was Mohammed Sayeed and the person beaten to near death is Dr Paribaha Mukherjee, and that has made all the difference.
In a highly polarised state that Bengal is, this deadly attack has kicked off communal passion and social media is highlighting this aspect. When a matter gets communal colour in Bengal, both the BJP and the TMC reaps its political dividends. But away from this, a junior doctor who happens to be at the centre of public discourse in the state is fighting for his life in a comma.
Last Updated 6:53 PM IST