Clean chit to IIT in student death case

The inquiry committee probing the death of a IIT Kharagpur student has given a clean chit to the institute and concluded that Rohit Kumar died of serious head injury which he had sustained after falling from rickshaw.

Kumar, a third-year electrical engineering student, died on March 22 after he complained of severe headache and consulted doctors at B C Roy Hospital. His death sparked protests by the students and the director of the institute, Damodar Acharya, had to tender his resignation.

The two-member committee, comprising doctors Bibhulkalyani Das and Sitesh Dasgupta, ruled out medical negligence on the part of doctors or hospital staff. They said that following an attack of epilepsy, Kumar became unconscious and fell from a rickshaw injuring his head. On the basis of evidence, the two-member panel concluded that no better treatment could have been given to Kumar.

The committee, however, pointed out that there is a need for better facilities at B C Roy Hospital and a multi-specialty hospital at IIT-Kharagpur.

According to the report, Kumar died between 1.45 pm to 2.15 pm and IIT Kharagpur director Acharya and other officials had no information about the condition of the student.

"Prof D Acharya, Prof M Chakraborty and Prof M Bhattacharya came to know about the incident after he died. They are not responsible for his sad demise," the report stated.

The report has also suggested taking up of immediate steps like installation of a fully-automated blood analyser, acid-base gas analyser and ELISA. Arrangements should also be made for culture and sensitivity tests. There was also a need for a 24X7 pharmacy, the report added.

The inquiry committee also stressed that ambulance services were not up to the mark and at least two modern ambulances with various facilities should be made available to B C Roy Hospital. There was need to upgrade the surgical facilities at the hospital and more paramedical staff.

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