It was nothing short of a black Monday for Kolkata’s medical fraternity as a doctor shot himself in the head killing himself on the spot and another junior doctor jumped from the roof of a state-run hopsital where she was working as a junior doctor. The junior doctor succumbed to her injuries late on Monday night.
On Monday morning, Avik Datta, 28, was found lying in a pool of blood in a residential complex off the EM Bypass. He had shot himself with a country made pistol that was found beside him. Datta used to work for Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital.
Avik’s family told the police that he had talked about job stress. The police also hinted at a dispute within the family. “We are investigating how Avik got hold of a improvised pistol,” said IC Tiljala Sujit Chakraborty.
Another tragedy followed a few hours later in the northern part of the city, when Supriya Ghosh, 27, jumped from the third floor of the hostel where she used to stay. She was rushed to Medical College, where she was admitted to the intensive care unit. Ghosh was a postgraduate trainee with Calcutta Medical College. Strangely, neither Ghosh, nor Datta left any suicide note behind.
The police have no idea how Datta got hold of the weapon that he used to shoot himself. His father P K Datta, a retired rail employee, lives on the fourth floor of the Rail Vihar apartment behind Ruby General Hospital. His son lived with him.
It is widely believed that young doctors work under a lot of pressure and are often beaten up by patients’ relatives.
Junior doctors working at state-run hospitals often resort to widespread agitation, demonstrations and work stoppages to register their protest , often daring the government to take administrative action.
But there are hardly any incidents of junior doctors committing suicide. The police are refusing to speculate about the reasons for the suicides and it could be attributed to the pressure at workplace and careerrelated worries.