Did Pune medico deploy ‘witch doctor’ in ICU?

Woman dies at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital; his Swargate clinic a hotbed of superstitions: activists

Published - March 14, 2018 12:00 am IST

Pune: A city medico is in the eye of the storm for allegedly summoning a ‘witch doctor’ inside the ICU of Pune’s Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital to help cure a 24-year-old woman.

Sandhya Sonawane, who had a tumour in her chest, died during treatment on Sunday evening. A video showing Dr. Satish Chavan along with the alleged ‘witch doctor’, who is chanting mantras, in the ICU, went viral after the brother of the victim, who had recorded the clip, showed it to activists of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS).

The MANS on Tuesday lodged a complaint at Alankar police station, demanding Dr. Chavan be booked under the Maharashtra anti-black magic and superstition Act.

On Monday, Dr. Chavan filed a complaint at Khadak police station in Shukrawar Peth, alleging that he had received a threatening call from an unknown person who had vowed to shut down his clinic.

“The patient was admitted to my clinic in Swargate on November 29. I performed an operation, and another operation was performed by another doctor at my clinic on February 20, following which her condition worsened,” Dr. Chavan said in his complaint.

He said the patient was then moved to Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital on February 21 and was in the ICU. Dr. Chavan claimed that during the course of his visits to the patient, a ‘priest’ with whom he was acquainted, happened to meet him at the hospital.

Cancel the licence

The MANS has rubbished Dr. Chavan’s claims, and said his clinic is a hotbed of superstitions.

“The doctor is believed to have observed ‘yamkal’ [time of death] before the supposedly propitious hour to perform the surgery. Both his operations were botched and the second resulted in tremendous bleeding of the patient. We demand that his licence be cancelled and he be investigated,” Nandini Jadhav of the MANS told The Hindu .

Meanwhile, the hospital said it has nothing to do with Dr. Chavan and he was merely present as the patient’s doctor. “Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital certainly does not promote such [superstitious] practices nor does it encourage requests on part of patients or their kin. We are probing the incident,” said Shirish Yadkikar, the hospital’s PRO, said.

Despite several attempts, Dr. Chavan did not respond to calls.

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