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KGMU student?s death sparks arson

THE ADMINISTRATIVE office of King George?s Medical University (KGMU) was set on fire in the wee hours today, following death of an MBBS student allegedly due to lack of critical care facilities.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2006 01:41 IST

THE ADMINISTRATIVE office of King George’s Medical University (KGMU) was set on fire in the wee hours today, following death of an MBBS student allegedly due to lack of critical care facilities.

Deepak Agrawal (2004 batch) had met with an accident at the Scientific Convention Centre, the venue of International Georgian Meet of KGMU on Wednesday at around 11.15 am. He fell from the first floor of the building from a gap adjacent to the stage, where a function was on. The building is under construction and there are several gaps left for installing lifts and other things.

Angry students on Thursday resorted to large-scale arson and vandalism both on and off the campus. Official vehicles were burnt, windowpanes broken and security personnel shooed away.

Damage was meted out to several departments, including Pharmacology, Physiology and conference halls of KGMU and UP King George’s University of Dental Sciences. The total loss of property may run in several lakhs. Several important documents, some related to financial bunglings, were also gutted..

The outrage started on Wednesday midnight after Deepak Agrawal died at a private hospital. He was taken there after the doctors at KGMU’s Trauma Centre failed to run the ventilator for Deepak.

Deepak was first taken to KGMU’s Trauma Centre and doctors there tried to save his life for over an hour. When they felt the need to put him on ventilator, Deepak was referred to a private hospital, as there were no staff to run the ventilator in the Trauma Centre.

After remaining on ventilator at the private hospital for twelve hours, Deepak died late on Wednesday night. Hurriedly the posts mortem was conducted and the body was sent to Sitapur district for last rites.

However, students who had suppressed their anger so far got agitated and straightaway reached the KGMU campus at around 4 am and started pelting stones.

They first burnt a four wheeler (UP32 BB 2146) parked in front of the Social and Preventive Medicine department. Over a dozen other vehicles were also damaged in the frenzy.

The office of deputy registrar Col Fasih Ahmed, record room, office of the secretary to the vice chancellor and the conference hall (White Hall) then became the target in the next half an hour. Petrol was used from the vehicles to burn the offices. Doors and windowpanes were broken. Almirahs that had important documents related with purchases in last five years and examination documents were also burnt one by one.

It is assumed that some items like computers have been stolen, as there were no remains of the machines.

The Out Patients Department was then closed as students took out a march on the campus at 10.30 am, raising slogans against Prof Bhandari. KGMU gets around 500 patients at the OPD every day from the city. Today they had to rush to other private clinics and hospitals.

Students alleged that despite there being three ventilators at the Trauma Centre, there were no staff to run them. They said ventilators were purchased three years back but not a single one of them could be started, as appointment of staff could not be done.

The student anger did not calm here. They then came on the streets in the afternoon. Traffic of many city areas came to a halt as students blocked the road on the busy Chowk crossing. They stopped rail traffic also on the Chatewala railway bridge and burnt the effigy of Prof Bhandari at around 2 pm.
Force from several police stations, companies of Rapid Action Force and Provincial Armed Constabulary had reached KGMU by then. But even this could not stop the students.

Not bowing to the pressure from the police and civil administration, students continued their protest and compelled the VC to come and accept their demand for compensation publicly.

V-C Prof Bhandari along with the VC of dental university Prof CP Govila addressed students at the main gate. The two V-Cs said they would forward the demand for compensation to the state government and make efforts for maximum compensation.

Over on death, Prof Bhandari said, “I do accept that we lack critical care facilities and that is why we had sent Deepak to a private hospital. Centenary hospital is coming up with 35 bed critical care facility and until it comes up we have to manage things this way.”

Meanwhile, a condolence meet was held at the KGMU this evening to mourn the death of Deepak. It was also decided that there would not be any academic activities on the campus on Friday.

First Published: Jan 13, 2006 01:41 IST