A DRUNKEN Block Congress president on Tuesday barged into Bafna Hospital brandishing a sword, threatened the patients and staff and damaged some property before being caught by the police.
It was later learnt that he was looking for a friend admitted to a hospital after being shot at in the afternoon. The matter has taken political overtones, as all those involved in the case are affiliated to some or the other political outfit.
Rajesh Chaurasia of Hukumchand Colony, who is the Congress block president from ward 1, came to the hospital wielding a sword and created a scene for well over 15 minutes. He also stopped the hospital ambulance bringing a patient on the Jawahar Marg and damaged its windshield. He then ran onto the street and changed three rickshaws before being caught by the Chhatripura police at Narsingh Bazaar Square.
All the while he kept inquiring about his ‘brother’ Vinod Singh Pawar and accusing the hospital of not treating him well. A heavily drunk and confused Chaurasia was looking for close friend Pawar, who is former Congress Jhuggi Jhopri Prakosht president.
Pawar was shot at by a listed criminal Manu alias Monu Maratha at 2.05 pm in the Hukumchand Colony area on Tuesday. He was rushed to the District Hospital with a bullet wound in his abdomen and was ultimately taken to Choithram Hospital and Research Centre for life-saving surgery.
Sources said Chaurasia and Maratha had had a heated altercation Monday night and the matter flared up to such an extent that both parties reached Aerodrome police station. It is learnt that a Minister later reportedly telephoned the TI after which a settlement was reached.
However, still bearing a grudge Maratha lay in wait for Chaurasia and fired at him while he was walking with his friend Pawar during the day on the busy City street. Maratha missed Chaurasia and hit Pawar instead. Pawar was brought to the nearest hospital - Bafna - and was allegedly denied admission there.
Hospital administrator P K Jain, who is an eyewitness to the incident, said that the accused, who was till then unidentified, directly approached the reception desk. Shouting at receptionist Prerna Gurang and accusing the hospital of not treating his ‘brother’ well and not disclosing his condition and whereabouts, Chaurasia attacked her with the sword he was brandishing.
He missed her narrowly, but chopped off part of the reception desk in the process. He then hit a glass piece three times reducing it to shattered shards, and ran towards the chamber of Dr Anil Jain Bafna.
Shouting abuses and threatening to kill the doctor, Chaurasia attacked his receptionist Murli, again missing him by a whisker and hitting the desk. He then turned towards the Ganesh idol in the reception are and with one swift stroke chopped off the snakeheads on the metal statue. Still not satisfied, he then threw the statue onto the floor.
The accused was accompanied by another person who tried to pacify him into returning and ultimately managed to take him outside. Chaurasia then stopped an ambulance, ordered the driver Ramchander to show him the patient and then left after damaging the windshield.
Dr Bafna denied having any patient by the name mentioned by Chaurasia, but in vain. Bafna said that he was in his cabin, examining patients when the commotion outside drew his attention. Dr Bafna told Hindustan Times that he had later received calls from someone on his landline phone threatening him not to register a complaint. TI Malharganj TS Kushwaha also sought an explanation over phone after reporting the matter to higher authorities when the accused had been nabbed.
Speaking to media persons while in custody at Malharganj police station, Chaurasia denied having entered the hospital with a sword, which was seized from his possession. He accused the police of planting the sword and Chhatripura police of stealing Rs 5,000 he was carrying for treatment of Pawar who he kept referring to as ‘brother’.
TI Kushwaha said that the accused was drunk and probably not in a proper mental state. He denied having any knowledge of a shootout. Meanwhile, a case has been registered in connection with the shootout at the Aerodrome police station. Later, Congress leaders also arrived on the spot to get their fellow activist out from the police net. Among the first to reach the spot was Youth Congress president Devendra Singh Yadav.