Prosenjit Sarkar, a final year B.Tech student in the department of Electrical Engineering at NIT Durgapur, complained of an acute headache on 17th November 2015 and went to the Medical Unit of the institute for a diagnosis. After coming back, he was feeling dizzy and he had an examination the next day. The exam was scheduled from 9 am to 12 pm but he could barely finish the exam due to severe headache and left at around 10:30 am.
At around 12:30 pm, after coming back from the exams, his friends noticed his condition, called in the college ambulance and took him to the medical unit. The doctor was unavailable at the time. The nurse judged that he had a gastric problem because of the mess food and gave him an antacid. Prosenjit was admitted and his friends left after he started feeling sleepy and wasn’t interacting much. His friends got a call from Prosenjit at 6 pm and said that the nurse was pestering him to get discharged even though he wasn’t well.
Four saline bottles and an injection were administered to him along with some tablets. The nurse dismissed his case as exam phobia even after Prosenjit told her that he had no medical history. His condition was very bad and he was losing consciousness but they were asked to take him back to the hostel. They protested this as he required serious medical attention and left.
At around 7 pm, his friends were called again and were insisted to take Prosenjit back to the hostel. He was given an injection for vomiting by the nurse on the doctor’s suggestion over a phone call. Prosenjit was discharged and brought back to the hostel in an ambulance. He was given a sleeping pill with some light food by his friends as suggested by the nurse.
At 9:15 pm, his friends found him lying on the floor with labored breathing and called in for an ambulance. The ambulance was not available and auto-rickshaws were nowhere to be found. At around 10 pm, he was finally taken to the medical unit through an auto-rickshaw where the nurse initiated oxygen and called the doctor. The doctor injected saline, checked the blood pressure and inspected the eyeballs and said that his condition was serious, had low pulse and maybe he was feeling sleepy because of the sedatives.
On the doctor’s recommendation, he was accompanied by the warden and the hostel manager to the Mission Hospital at 10:30 pm while the doctor refused to accompany and said that he was not bound by any rule to do so. They reached the hospital at around 11:15 pm and Prosenjit was declared brought dead and his friends were informed that he had been dead for at least one to one and half hours. The Medical Unit doctor was unable to diagnose that Prosenjit was already dead when he did the check up and after being confronted about it, he said he had referred Prosenjit to the Mission Hospital before his death.
Everything above this is based on the statements of the witnesses.
The medical unit and the college administration refused to take responsibility for the negligence and so all the students of the institute decided to go on an indefinite peaceful strike in protest for the same. The demands put forward were
– Lump sum compensation for the family of the deceased.
– Resignation of the Director.
– Temporary suspension and legal action against the doctors and staff.
– Publication of cause of death.
– Betterment of medical unit and arrangement of a proper on-campus pharmacy.
We decided to find out the reasons for this callousness and in the process found out unexpected information and documents about the college administration through RTIs and other sources. We decided to involve the MHRD in this so that proper action is taken against the wrongdoers. We also resorted to social media and tagged Ms. Smriti Irani on twitter on all our tweets related to our protest with the hashtag #JusticeForProsenjit.
Soon we got positive replies from her and two MHRD officials visited our campus on 24th November. The officials had a meeting with the student body where a lot of documents were produced. We would like to put forth those documents that were presented to the MHRD officials along with the first hand witness statements. What were the incidents that lead to the death of our fellow mate Prosenjit Sarkar? What is the truth about NIT Durgapur?
We the people of NIT Durgapur would like to highlight the incidents and that people responsible for this. The main reasons that lead to the death of the boy were as follows:
In this we can see that the doctor prescribed the sleeping pill, antacids and injection to avoid vomiting without any diagnosis. The behaviour of the staff in the medical unit and their way of treatment of the students makes it obvious that they may not have any professional background.
Prosenjit’s friend called MU for the only ambulance in the NIT campus. But due to unavailability of the ambulance this call was denied and students were told to make arrangements on their own. And while doing arrangements, Prosenjit was lying on the portico of his hostel for another 40min. And the question we would like to raise now is WHY? Why is there only 1 ambulance for 5000 students?
Officially, NIT Durgapur has 1 Bus, 1 mini Bus, 1 Truck, 1 Qualis, 2 Esteem, 1 ambassador and 1 ambulance with the plate number (WB39-6724). Besides the rented vehicles (2 in number). But what is actually present on campus is 1 rented Innova and 1 rented Ambulance.
If the officially allotted ambulance was in use that day, our fellow mate would be alive with us. We are also aware that an amount of 60,000/- was spent on the ambulance refurbishment and even after that this ambulance is kept idle and away from the sight of students in some garage. Even if there is a shortage of drivers in our college, the authority must look for drivers instead of putting the cars in the garage.
The Deputy Registrar (Establishment) is aware of all these problems beforehand, and still he chose to do nothing. When the doctor made it clear that Prosenjit should be referred to Mission Hospital, his friends asked the Doctor to accompany them to the hospital. And their request was denied as there was a non-availability of medical staff.
The Deputy Registrar (Establishment). He was notified several times about the same and the requests, stating the current status, which dates back to 2006. Even when NIT Durgapur became an institute of national importance, and the total intake was 250 students, there were two doctors. Now the intake is more than 1200 still we have two doctors!
Mr. A. K. Chattopadhyay is the Deputy Registrar (Establishment). Firstly, Mr. A.K. Chattopadhyay was recruited for the post of HES manager. This post was lying vacant from the year 2001-02 to 2006-07. According to guidelines of the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, a post would be deemed abolished if it lies vacant for a year or more and approval of the Finance minister is required for revival of the same.
But, in this case the appointment was done against a newspaper advertisement dated 18.07.2007. Let’s spread some light on the eligibility of our Deputy Registrar (Establishment). The supporting documents state that he was appointed as Manager (HES) and that too under questionable circumstances.
Since his appointment, there was a shortage of drivers in the college. There were four drivers sanctioned for our college and only one driver was functional (according to the annual report of NIT Durgapur 2009-10, but the following annual reports till 2014-15 concealed the number of sanctioned drivers).
A.K Chattopadhyay failed to address the issue of shortage of drivers since 2009-10. What is even more surprising is his endeavour to hide the vehicles away from public eye. This goes on to show the level of incompetence with which he was doing his duty as Deputy Registrar.
In the light of the above scenario one is bound to ask – on what circumstances was this person promoted even when the documents state that, he is ineligible, given the level of his incompetence?
Now the Question is, even when these things were told to the concerned authority, why was he promoted to the post of Deputy Registrar? And who promoted him?
On investigation, we found out that our respected Director had actually promoted him and there are plenty of other questionable appointments in the institution. These appointments are of –
He accepted the appointment on 26.12.06 after his resignation from Secretary to HOD (MBA) without serving any notice period. Thereby he breached the contract which was waived by the then Director. (Annexure 3 – performance audit)
To view other documents in this annexure, you can click here.
(Annexure 8): These documents clearly show us that Mr. Dhrubajyoti Ray has a degree in Architecture from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University and a central audit has clearly found out there was no Department of Architecture in this particular university. The college had sent out a tailor made qualification to suit his candidature without notifying of BOG. No supporting documents could be established regarding his service as Deputy Registrar (Planning and development) in a private college since 11.09.1998.
Why didn’t the director do anything about these wrongful appointments? At least a possible police background check must be done before promoting someone? And if the things come to light after the promotion, the Director must take some actions against it. But what faith can we have in the system if the Director himself is involved and is trying to suppress all these things?
Till now, the things discussed clearly state that the Director is aware and has decided to not respond on any of these issues. No matter how wrong these deeds are, these appointments and these promotions were done in his knowledge. That’s not it, the Director is even known for practicing double standards.
(Annexure 6) Quarter No-LM-19/4A is currently functioning as the staff canteen. And when the authority was asked about the allotment order and the receipts that the owner pays to the authority, the answer was pretty clear. Even when the quarter was allotted 20-25 years ago, the reply that we got from the authority was that the documents are missing as they are 20 years old. In fact the meeting in which it was decided that the staff club may have authority to decide, to make Quarter No-LM-19/4A staff canteen, occurred at 3am in the morning!
To view more documents in this Annexure, click here.
CHANDU TEA STALL: The college has this tea stall from the beginning and there was no tender involved to authorize anyone to run this canteen, but recently it was known that due to some dispute involving Mr. A. Chattopadhyay, tender was open for this tea stall.
Our question is very clear, why are there specific rules for specific people? The authority doesn’t want to issue a tender for the staff canteen however it wanted to do the same for Chandu tea stall.
When we approached the Director for answers, he refused to interact with us. This is not the first time that our Director refused to face us in the hour of need. Last semester, due to transformer failure in peak summer in mid-April, the students were suffering from load shedding for a minimum of 16 hours daily. And then its effects were seen in drinking water supply, internet, laptop charging, and phone connectivity. All this when even semester exams were around the corner. When we approached the Director sir, his response was “send the students back home, let the exams be held after the holidays”. Not once did he think of a solution. His decisions and actions are pretty reckless, which are unbecoming of the authority he holds.
The college is supposed to have a senate and two faculty representatives for board of governors (BOG). There must be an election when the faculty representatives are chosen by the senate. This election was held only once and two faculty representatives were chosen, however several recommendations and suggestions made by them were ignored during their working period as faculty representatives. When the tenure of these elected faculty representatives was over, re-elections were not held and somehow Director Sir chose two of the faculties and imposed the decision. Even when the faculties showed their disagreement on paper, nothing was done. The Decisions regarding the students should be made in the presence of at least one Gymkhana member, however it is seen that these things are kept hidden from us. The BOG meeting discussions should be made public, but that too doesn’t happen in our college. Gymkhana representatives are absent in so many decisions which are for the students. (Annexure 7(a), 7(b))
We were told by our seniors and professors that initially this college had a Construction department. The responsibility of this department was to look after all the construction. But when this Director came into the college he dissolved this department.
Demolished materials do have a cost, and when the college was asked about the scrap materials that were retrieved during the demolishment of the buildings, the answer that the college gave was that the amount was adjusted in the total tender amount, and there were special conditions in the tender. However, there are no gate passes available showing that, those scrap materials were taken out of the campus. There were no documents showing that where these materials were taken? Who took it? What was the amount deducted from the total amount? Why is the ‘Dean of Planning and Development’ from Chemical department rather than from civil department? The already constructed buildings do raise some questions like why aren’t these buildings functioning? Even when we have a student’s activity centre, why is the college constructing a new one? What’s the story behind the shopping complex that has already been constructed?
Tenure of Deans: The tenure of Deans is supposed to be of 2 years, max. 3 years. But in our college there are Deans for 10 years, holding the same position in the system. Who is looking after it? Who doesn’t want to change the people? *Last Document shows that the Director Sir is actually aware of these things*
List of the Documents that were submitted to the Officers of MHRD:-
Note: We spoke to Mr. Aniruddha Gangopadhyay, Dean of Administration at NIT Durgapur regarding these documents, to which he responded: “Investigation is already being conducted on these things, and we are not supposed to comment. The HRD Ministry’s investigation on this has already happened, so we are not going to comment on these things right now.”