A 40-year-old man being taken to hospital was allegedly dumped in a drain where he was exposed to heavy rains for 22 hours before villagers alerted authorities, police said on Tuesday.
The person, said to be mentally deranged, was admitted on Monday evening to a Jamshedpur hospital, where he was in a “critical” condition owing to pneumonia, multiple sources told HT.
The incident in southeast Jharkhand created furore and cast suspicion on the ambulance driver besides a police chowkidar and health officials of Ghatsila sub-divisional hospital, which had referred him to MGM Jamshedpur, 45 km away.
Authorities across board passed the blame even as doctors attending the man, whose name was yet to be known, said he had infections in wounds on a leg that might be amputated.
The story began on Saturday when a civic-body official got information about a gravely-injured man lying unattended in Dhalbhumgarh market. “I rushed to the spot and arranged for his treatment,” said Dhalbhumgarh panchayat member Ratna Mishra. “We collected funds, arranged a van-rickshaw to transport the man to the local community health centre. There, the doctor referred him to MGM after first aid.”
It was then a private ambulance was called with help from police. Dhalbhumgarh police station SHO T Khan said he asked Sujit Dey, who owned an ambulance, to take the patient to Ghatsila sub-divisional hospital. “I asked Bauri, our chowkidar, to accompany the patient along with Bikram Rathore, the driver. I made the paper for payment of the ambulance,” he said.
Ghatsila hospital Medical officer Shankar Tudu said, “We could not entertain the patient, as the CMC paper referred him to MGM. After that, we have no information about the matter.”
Dhalbhumgarh police maintain the local CMC had “accepted” the patient, but the block’s medical officer claim he was never admitted.
On their part, the ambulance driver and the police station chowkidar said they left the patient in the sub-divisional hospital and returned.
According to the head of the Kasida Paltu Sardar village, where the man was found dumped in a drain, the driver and chowkidar ostensibly abandoned him midway.
“Police should book the culprit after investigating the case,” Ghatsila SDPO Sanjeeb Besra said. “I have called a meeting with all concern people to investigate the matter.”