By Shriya Pande:
Respected Mr Prime Minister,
I write to you with a heavy heart. My only brother, Dr Shashwat Pande, a bright, young doctor, aspiring to serve humanity, got brutally murdered in the duty room at St Stephen’s Hospital, New Delhi, on August 24, 2017.
Police, during their early investigation, were able to identify Dr Suyash Gupta, a fellow resident doctor at St Stephen’s, as my brother’s killer. It was a premeditated murder, sir, where Suyash Gupta slit my brother’s throat with a sharp weapon, and stabbed him multiple times in his body, including his face, chest, arms.
Suyash Gupta had been constantly stalking my brother over the past two years and had even publicly threatened to kill him. My brother had lodged several complaints against Dr Suyash Gupta at St Stephen’s Hospital, including at the police station, Sabzi Mandi, New Delhi.
While Suyash Gupta was suspended several times, relatives of Dr Suyash Gupta pressurized my brother into withdrawing the police complaint, giving my brother death threats. His actions were noted, but it seems that the authorities failed to register the scheming and dangerous man that Dr Suyash Gupta ultimately proved to be.
As a result, due to the lack of firm and appropriate action, Suyash was able to freely access hospital premises, since he was allowed to retain his hospital access card. In such a case, he remained undeterred and succeeded in entering the hospital on the night of August 25, 2017, to attack and kill my brother while he was on his emergency night duty in the CT reporting room.
It has been over three weeks, but the killer is still at large.
I am writing this letter as a young girl, who lost her elder brother, whom she was supposed to spend a lifetime with; as parents of a young, deceased son, whose pain is inconsolable; as a patient, who got deprived of the services of a brilliant, compassionate doctor; as a doctor, who fears for their life, given the safety provided by the hospital authorities; as a citizen of India, who questions the examination system, which allows perverted, dangerous individuals to sit with stethoscopes and threaten the lives of hundreds of people they come in contact with.
In a country where news headlines change in the blink of eye, I am not sure if this has even come to your notice. Or maybe it has, and you just choose to remain silent on the issue. An issue that is a first of its kind, where a doctor got killed by someone from the same fraternity, that too, within the hospital premises, inside the duty room, in cold blood.
I am appalled by the pace with which the police and Delhi administration are going about the matter. Not a single arrest has been made so far, nor is there any trace of the whereabouts of the murderer. I am forced to believe that this butcher is being protected by certain elements of the society. I also fear that justice may never be delivered to us.
What was my brother’s fault? Did he deserve a death like this? Doesn’t this pain give you a shudder? What is the administration doing? Why hasn’t the culprit been caught? Do only international and financial issues make to the list of things you propagandize?
In return for service to humanity, this is what a country like ours throws back. This country failed my brother while he lived. You are the person we elected and it is your duty to stand up against injustice. You should protect the innocent, the vulnerable. Isn’t it time you proved you are not just any other politician?
I urge you to take a call on this extremely unfortunate, unjust and tragic incident. I seek your personal intervention, sir, in getting a fair and just probe and to provide justice to my deceased brother at the earliest.
A candle march will be held at Jantar Mantar on September 24 (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm) to commemorate one month of Dr Shashwat Pande’s murder and demand for justice.