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A peaceful candlelight condolence march was organized by the students in the evening at 7 PM. The students who had gathered in large numbers walked from the Gymkhana and placed candles around the Bidhan Chowk in front of the institute main building.

Meanwhile, the supposed address by the registrar to the students was only a rumour. The entire student community has been informed of the minutes of the meeting held between the student representatives and the administration through notices. The exact status on the resignations of the Director and Dean of Students’ Affairs is yet to be known. The arrival of the Board of Governors Chairman Dr. Muthuraman would be keenly awaited in this regard since the director’s resignation needs to be ratified by the Board of Governors before being forwarded to the HRD Ministry.

All classes will resume starting from tomorrow. The second meeting of the student representatives and the administration is scheduled to take place on Friday to look into the progress on the implementation of proposed reforms. The status of Gymkhana elections is obviously of the least concern at this point and hence no decision has been taken in this regard.

Also, regarding the construction of the multi-speciality hospital, the foundation stone for which was laid by ex-president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, it is to be noted that it was the Government and not the institute administration that cancelled the funding; and hence it would be wrong to blame the administration for the same. The institute can be expected to push for this proposal now, in the wake of the present happenings.

We at The Scholars’ Avenue appeal to all students to maintain calm and trust us to keep you updated with authentic information as it comes.
कोई भी मूल्य एवं संस्कृति तब तक जीवित नहीं रह सकती जब तक वह आचरण में नहीं है.

Minutes of the meeting held on 23rd March 2009

The following were present

1) Prof. M. Chakraborty, Director (Acting)
2) Dr. D. Gunasekaran, Registrar
3) Prof. P.P. Chakrabarti, Member, Board of Governors & Dean, SRIC
4) Prof. Sanat K. Ray, Member, Board of Governors
5) Prof. S.K. Som, Dean, Under Graduate Studies
6) Prof. R.N. Datta, Dean, Faculty & Planning
7) Prof. Amit Patra, Dean, Alumni Affairs & International Relations
8) Prof. Manish Bhattacharya, President, Technology Students’ Gymkhana
9) Prof. S.K. Bhattacharyya, Chairman, Civil Construction & Maintenance
10) Prof. N.R. Mandal, Head, Dept. of Ocean Engg. & Naval Architecture
11) Prof. A. K. Ghosh, Head, Dept. of Biotechnology
12) Prof. A.K. Chattopadhyay, Head, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
13) Prof. B. Maity, Professor-in-Charge, Transport
14) Dr. N. K. Som, Head, B.C. Roy Technology Hospital
15) Mr. U. P. Singh, Security Officer
16) Mr. Arnav, Vice-President, Technology Students’ Gymkhana
17) Other Student Representatives

The following were the points discussed and resolved :
1. One-man Enquiry Committee be appointed preferably with a retired High Court Level Judge to enquire into entire episode of 22nd March 2009 leading to the resignation of Prof. D. Acharya as Director of the Institute. However necessary permission for appointment will be obtained. The Enquiry Committee shall be given thirty days from the date of appointment for the work.

2. Prof. N.R. Mandal, Head, Dept. of Ocean Engineering & Naval Architecture be requested to coordinate with the district hospital, local authorities and parents of Rohit Kumar and also render all assistance to his parents.

3. Mr. N.R. Maity, Deputy Registrar (Academic) be requested to coordinate on behalf of the students with Insurance Company to expedite the claim processing including the present case of Rohit Kumar. Mr. Kumar Ritwik, one of the students will be a students’ coordinator for all students insurance policy matters. One responsible employee of the Institute be appointed as Liaison Officer for the purpose of Insurance Policy related matters like admitting in hospital, ambulance arrangement, payments, filing of claims, etc. He will work under the overall supervision of the Deputy Registrar, Academic.

4. Institute has been making all efforts to have a Multi-speciality Hospital at IIT Kharagpur during the past few years. The following hospital/individual were contacted in this connection:
a) Narayana Hrudalaya, Bangaloreb)
b) Kanchi Kamkoti Trust, Kanchipuramc)
c) Sri Satya Sai Central Trust, Puttabarthyd)
d) Apollo Group, Hyderabade)
e) Manipal Hospital, Manipalf)
f) Dr. Satadal Saha, Jubilant First Trust Healthcare Ltd., Kolkata.

A committee of representatives from RBI Salboni, Tata Metaliks, Jindal Steel, AFS Kalaikunda, AFS Salua, Bharat Forge, Tata Hitachi, Tata Bearing, S.E. Railway, State Hospital, Midnapore Medical College & Hospital have been involved in the discussion. However, we are yet to reach a final shape on the issue.

5. Simultaneously, a 24X7 pharmacy can be set up at B.C. Roy Technology Hospital and operationalised within 30 days.

6. A Diagnostic Centre be set up at IIT Kharagpur. The Diagnostic Centre shall be managed by a professional group. In the meantime the existing pathology laboratories at the hospital be upgraded. Dr. N.K. Som will prepare a blueprint of the proposed upgradation of pathology unit at B.C. Roy Technology Hospital including manpower requirements. This blueprint should be done with 15 days.

7. Some of the NGOs/Trusts for exploring the possibility of providing medical facility at IIT Kharagpur. Students may also help identify possible NGO/Trusts in this regard. Institute will work towards setting up a hospital at Kharagpur, to be run by a professional group who specializes in this area.

8. Commanding Officer, AFS Kalaikunda, be contacted for possible use of the medical facility availability there by IIT Kharagpur community including Air Ambulance, if available.

9. The following committee be appointed to work out the number and type of ambulances required :
Prof. B. Maiti, Dept. of Mechanical Engg. - Chairman
Prof. M. Bhattacharyya, President, TSG - Member
Mr. Alok, Students’ Representative - Member
A student with medical background - Member
They should submit the report including full specification for purchase by 31st March 2009. The procurement etc. shall be initiated by 1st week of April 2009.

10. Head, B.C. Roy Technology Hospital should ensure that the doctors and staff make conscious efforts to win the confidence of campus community.

11. The existing hospital management committee shall be expanded incorporating Vice President TSG and four other students to be nominated by Vice President.

12. Prof. B.K. Mathur be requested to crate a web based suggestions/complaint box for B.C. Roy Technology Hospital. The suggestions/complaints received shall be placed to the committee for immediate redressal. Prof. Mathur with the help of BCRTH doctors may also provide the medical data base of doctors/diagnostic centres/hospitals at Kharagpur/Midnapore and Kolkata to the community including the web.

13. An alert-helpline be created in the emergency of B.C. Roy Technology Hospital in line with helpline created by Security Section. Institute shall provide additional manpower for helpline and rendering other assistance to emergency patients.

14. The emergency unit should have a round the clock medical officer. The Institute will advertise Medical Officer positions to be filled on contract basis to overcome the present situation. We can also explore getting doctors on deputation from central/state governments.

15. Institute should appoint an external professional agency/expert to study the present facilities at BCRTH and suggest possible improvements.

16. Chairman BoG, Mr. B. Muthuraman, who is abroad, has been apprised and is deeply concerned. He is planning to return as soon as possible and will come to IIT Kharagpur immediately on return. He has asked a senior doctor of Tata Main Hospital to immediately come to IIT Kharagpur to assess the BCRT Hospital’s working.

17. Institute decided to send a message of condolence to the parents of Rohit Kumar.
कोई भी मूल्य एवं संस्कृति तब तक जीवित नहीं रह सकती जब तक वह आचरण में नहीं है.


What the hell is going on here!

The Incident

This Sunday, the 22nd of March, shall go down as a black day in the history of IIT, Kharagpur. It was with great sadness and considerable anger that the residents of the campus received news of the demise of one of its own; third year Electrical Engineering student, Rohit Kumar. A resident of the LLR Hall of Residence, Rohit had been visiting the hospital since Friday, the 20th of March, complaining of headaches. On Sunday, the headaches became increasingly painful and it was on his way back from the doctor that he fainted and fell from the rickshaw, resulting in major injuries.

Following this, he was taken to BC Roy hospital by two students of LLR. The doctor on duty (who was present at the time when Rohit was taken to the hospital), Dr. N.K. Som, recommended that he be taken to Apollo Hospital, Kolkata and shown to a neurosurgeon. He stated that BC Roy did not have facilities to handle such cases and that it was best to take him to Kolkata as soon as possible. However, problems (such as filling of petrol) and the extensive paperwork involved in arranging an ambulance caused a delay of 2 hours during the course of which nothing much could be done.

He was finally sent on his way to Kolkata with 2 students for company and an untrained attendant. En route it was realized that though the oxygen mask had been placed over his mouth, the tank had still not been turned on. Soon after this, Rohit started coughing up blood. The students who accompanied him had the attendant call up Dr. Som and the students followed his instructions; pumping out blood without any help from the attendant. At the time, it was decided to take Rohit to the Spandan Hospital in Midnapore since his condition was deteriorating rapidly. In spite of asking the BC Roy officials to call ahead and inform Spandan of the impending arrival, there was no one there to receive them. By the time a doctor was found, Rohit had passed away and the hospital declared him dead on arrival. At present, his body lies in the mortuary at Midnapore medical college.

Questions and Answers

There are a lot of questions being asked and a lot of unfounded rumours flying around. Some of these questions can be answered and some of the rumours quashed. One of the major questions being asked is about the absence of a trained medico in the ambulance. The rules of BC Roy stipulate that no doctor can accompany a person in the ambulance. Unbelievable but a possible reason for this is that since there is only one doctor on duty, such action would mean that the hospital is left unmanned.

Another confirmed fact is that the doctor was present when Rohit was taken to the hospital. All delays were entirely due to the unavailability of an ambulance. The problems with the ambulances were apparent a week earlier when Mithun Madhusudhan, a 4th year student had to be taken to Kolkata for an operation after he fractured both his hands. At that time, the ambulance broke down and could move only in reverse gear. This is a very serious problem that hopefully will be corrected at the earliest.

The Reaction

An incident such as this, calls for the strongest possible reaction, and it was with this intent that the students on campus walked out of their hostels in protest. A crowd started forming with about 100-150 people gathered in front of the Director’s Bungalow demanding an audience and a strong reaction from the man in charge. Unfortunately, he delayed addressing the gathering, which had by then grown to nearly a 1000 people, all of whom were getting angrier and more restive by the minute. The Director’s subsequent equivocation about committees and ‘looking into the matter’ only made matters worse, as students understood these to be standard bureaucratic responses that were ineffective. Convinced that the authorities had still not correctly gauged the frustration and anguish of the students, they took matters to the next level. As tempers ran high and numbers swelled, an already dark day became uglier as the students resorted to destruction of property in a bid to demonstrate their anger. At all times, however, there was a strict student-enforced cordon around the officials, to pre-empt possibilities of physical assault. Such student conduct, while admittedly regrettable, seemed to be what caused the authorities to realize the gravity of the situation.

The Fallout

The raw emotion displayed by the students finally convinced the Director to step down after prolonged protests from the students. This came after nearly four hours of deliberation during which the students took to ransacking the director’s residence, smashing window panes and his car. Soon after at about 8 p.m., the Deputy Director convened an emergency meeting of all the Heads of Departments, Deans and student representatives to work out an immediate action plan to resolve the crisis. The points decided upon in the meeting are as follows:

  1. An independent commission composed of doctors from AIIMS/Apollo and other such medical institutions of repute must be setup to examine the current state of affairs and issue recommendations that must necessarily be followed.
  2. An external independent enquiry commission composed of civil servants (possibly members of the judiciary and IPS officers) must be setup in order to fix responsibility.
  3. B.C. Roy Hospital is to have better trained staff henceforth.
  4. The Institute will procure 5 new state of the art ambulances and these should be allowed to transport patients without waiting for the requisite paperwork to be completed.
  5. A database of all specialists in and around Kharagpur should be maintained and freely accessible.
  6. The Institute must pursue tie-ups with medical NGOs and nearby hospitals so that students can avail emergency medical care when needed.
  7. Deputation of central government doctors to Kharagpur must be looked into.
  8. The facilities must be upgraded so as to handle emergencies and at least 2 qualified emergency doctors must be present at all times (including weekends, off hours and night time).
  9. There must be greater transparency in the hospital’s operation. A review committee made of students, professors and one emeritus professor nominated by students, must be formed with the authority to review the progress at BC Roy every 15 days,
  10. Revision of pay scales for doctors in employ of BC Roy so as to attract better doctors.
  11. Adequate compensation for Rohit’s Family

The points put forward by the student representatives regarding the improvements in medical facilities at B.C. Roy Hospital were read out in an unprecedented jam-packed open session held at the Tagore Open Air Theater. Unfortunately, here too emotions were running high and the lack of discernible strong action and resolve on the part of the administration did nothing to help the situation. The situation spiraled rapidly out of control into one where the nearly 4,000 strong crowd demanded the resignation of the Dean of Student Affairs and the Chairman of the BC Roy Hospital, which turned out to be the Deputy Director. All this was in spite of the fact that the Deputy Director agreed to all suggested changes. In the end, the Dean of Student Affairs, in principle, resigned and the Deputy Director has also resigned from his post as the Chairman, B.C. Roy Hospital.

A meeting with student representatives from all halls of residence will be held on Monday morning at 10.00 a.m. to implement the proposed action plan. The deliberations and outcome of these committee meetings will be made public and available for everyone to view (on notice boards and on The Scholars’ Avenue). This committee will be meeting every 15 days in order to review progress and these progress reports shall also be made public. Such a move towards greater transparency is indeed heartening. Classes on Monday, the 23rd of March, have been cancelled in mourning as a mark of respect for Rohit. Monday shall also witness a candle light procession from the Gymkhana to the Main Gate at 6 p.m.


While many resignations were demanded and many tendered in the heat of the moment, the long term implications of the day will only become clear once the dust settles. The details of violence at the Director’s residence will eventually take precedence in this topic in the national media, taking focus off its cause – the complete absence of effective protocols and facilities at the B.C. Roy Hospital. This might have thus squandered an excellent opportunity to draw the attention of the national media and force the authorities at the highest level to implement concrete steps to make B.C. Roy a place to get better, not worse.

It was indeed heartening to see the entire student community come out in unison to protest the death of a fellow student. However, there is an urgent need to channelize this spirit in the right direction so as to achieve what it set out to do. We need a better hospital on campus, not mass resignations from officials and destruction of public property. We need positive action from the authorities, not negative action from the students. Rejoicing at the suspension of classes is downright despicable in a situation such as this. A serious question that must be asked is, “Have we become what we condemned the most; the stirs and protests that plague Bengal?”

The urgency of the problem is now amply clear to the authorities, and now it is time to work constructively with them to resolve the issue. Each one should play his part by informing the authorities of the improvements he has in mind through his respective hall representatives. It is imperative that any pictures or videos depicting violence or people engaged in such acts be suppressed. Negative publicity, especially in the national media, can only take us away from the goal of standardizing the systems for medical aid. Non-violent methods of protest are the need of the hour and it is best to refrain from mob behavior in the coming days. They will truly define how we KGPians, as a student community, respond to a crisis of such an unprecedented magnitude. Let us not forget that we are torchbearers of a premier institute of the country and that our duty to maintain the dignity of the institute is as important as our right to proper healthcare.

We, at The Scholars’ Avenue will continue to bring updates as the story unfolds. We urge all the faculty and alumni who are reading this to put pressure on the administration, via their own channels, to help improve medical facilities on campus. Let Rohit not have died in vain.


All information contained in the article above has been verified from people who were at the scene. This is the true version of events.

कोई भी मूल्य एवं संस्कृति तब तक जीवित नहीं रह सकती जब तक वह आचरण में नहीं है.