In the most shameless display of “yellow journalism”, a reputed Bengali daily in Kolkata, Anandabazar Patrika, has made blatant a attempt to promote Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee, veteran medicine specialist who was convicted by the Supreme Court of India in 2009 for medical negligence and causing death of Anuradha Saha. According to an article published in Anandabazar Patrika today (attached below), the ABP newspaper group organized a seminar in Kolkata to criticize the state government for arresting two senior doctors (Mani Chhetri and Pranab Dasgupta) who were involved with the medical fiasco at the AMRI Hospital in which more than 90 innocent patients suffocated to death from a massive fire last December. Dr. Mukherjee, hailed as the “General” (“senapati“) of the Bengal medical lobby, staunchly defended the medical community and expressed grave concern for the arrest of the two doctors.
While everybody including the members of the medical community has a right to defend their respective position, it is a sheer disgrace to portray a convicted doctor like Sukumar Mukherjee as the “senapati” of the Bengal medicos. In fact, Dr. Mukherjee was not only found guilty for “medical negligence” by the Apex Court, his medical license was also revoked by the Medical Council of India (MCI) in May, 2011. However, corrupt members of the West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC), who are cronies of Dr. Mukherjee, have refused to cancel his medical registration till now. A case is pending in Calcutta High Court in this regard. Ironically, all 17 members of WBMC including their president Dr. Ashok Chowdhury, a close associate of Dr. Mukherjee, were indicted for “criminal conspiracy” (under IPC Section 120B and 201) in August, 2011 for trying to shield Dr. Mukherjee. The National Consumer Court in New Delhi (NCDRC) has also held Dr. Mukherjee (and other doctors plus AMRI hospital) guilty for Anuradha’s death in 2011 and awarded a compensation of Rs. 1.7 crore, highest in Indian medico-legal history.
We are deeply shocked and dismayed for the blatant attempt on part of Anandabazar Patrika to promote a convicted doctor and to attack the new government in West Bengal for their unprecedented move to arrest the two doctors to try to bring justice for the families of the hapless patients who died from the horrific fire at the AMRI hospital. Anandabazar Patrika is doing a great disservice for the society and encouraging more incidence of medical negligence through baseless propaganda of convicted healers like Dr. Mukherjee. We strongly protest such anti-patients attitude by a leading daily in Kolkata and ask every conscientious citizen to boycott Anandabazar Patrika and to express a strong voice of protest by writing or calling the newspaper office in Kolkata at Tel: (033) 2237-8000; Fax: (033) 2225-3924.