Five days on, no word about Tripura youth

AGARTALA: It is a story that tugs at your heartstrings.

Five days after a raging blaze ravaged the AMRI Hospital in Kolkata, family members of 25-year-old Tripura resident Santosh Das, who was admitted in the hospital, are still looking for him.

While Santosh’s younger brother Paritosh is running from pillar to post in Kolkata to know about his brother’s whereabouts, their ill-fated parents have stopped taking their meals and are asking everyone to bring back their eldest son.

Santosh met with a road mishap in Tripura on Nov. 30 and fractured his left leg.

He was admitted to the GB Pant Medical College and Hospital here and was subsequently taken to Kolkata for advanced treatment.

Sitting in his thatched house near Agartala airport, 15 kilometres north of Agartala city, Santosh’s 65-year-old father Abinash is a picture of despair.

With tears rolling down his cheeks, he said: “Accumulating our life’s savings, we got Santosh admitted to the AMRI Hospital on Dec. 1 for better treatment. Doctors at the hospital operated on his leg on Dec. 5.” Abinash Das said that neighbours and local clubs helped his family with financial support of a few thousand rupees to meet the expenditure of Santosh’s treatment.

Paritosh Das said that he had met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, several officials and searched more than 21 hospitals and some morgues but did not found his brother.

“When the fire broke out early Friday, I tried to reach the second floor of the hospital where ‘dada’ (elder brother) was asleep after the surgery, but the security guards stopped me from entering.

“I could have saved my brother had I not been prevented by the guards from entering. How will I face my aged parents if I return home without my brother?” Paritosh said in a choked voice.

“Santosh’s family now has no means to support itself. They lost their life savings of Rs145,000 on his treatment,” said Sukumar Das, Santosh’s uncle.

Tripura Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty, who was in Kolkata after the devastating fire, said: “Kolkata’s Tripura Bhavan officials in association with Kolkata police have continued their frantic hunt to trace out Santosh.”

Six from Tripura, were among 93 killed in the fire on last Friday.