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They came, they saw, they murdered

R. Sujatha
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Eyewitnesses to the gruesome attack in GH’s ward 134 said the victim’s sontried to stop the gang but was pushed away. A ward boy who came in was also threatened by the men

Wednesday night started out like any other, in ward 134 of the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Patients and their attendants had just dozed off around 10.15 p.m., when a gang entered, chased, and viciously hacked a 40-year-old male patient.

The few patients who were awake, had not realised what was going on, thinking the men were visitors. It was only when the victim began screaming that they realised a murder was being committed in front of them.

On Thursday, a pool of dried blood and wads of blood-stained gauze near the bed were the only indications of the attack.

The victim, R. Prakash had been admitted to the hospital’s male medical ward on the third floor of tower block 1 on March 1. He was to be discharged in two days. “He had been admitted for muscle pain, hypertension and coronary artery disease and was awaiting investigations,” said a senior nurse who was on duty on Thursday at the ward.

“Patients in this ward are considered critically ill,” she added.

R. Sheela, (name changed) a native of Villupuram, said she had not paid much attention to the victim. She was there to take care of her father, who had been at the hospital for the past week. On Wednesday night, she saw two men enter the ward. “Most of us had gone to bed by then,” she said.

The men spoke to the victim. Then another five men came in and suddenly, there was noise and commotion. One man had masked his face with a handkerchief and another was wearing a checked shirt. The man who began the attack was carrying a long knife,” she added.

Two other male patients said their beds were close to the door, but they did not see much as they had been asleep. Some patients said there was only one nurse on duty and even she had left the room with a sheaf of papers a little before the attack. The screams of the other patients brought the hospital staff running in, they added.

The ward, with 36 beds, is situated along a long corridor on the northern end of the tower, facing Central Station. Prakash had occupied the bed next to a window, facing the road.

After the incident, patients and their attendants were shifted to a ward on the second floor.

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