June 22, 2019 02:25 AM NPT
By: Sonam Lama
Police still clueless
KATHMANDU, June 22: On Monday evening at around 7:32 pm, Buddhiraj Tamang's phone rang. The call went unnoticed as he was cycling on the way home from Gaurighat in the capital.
Upon reaching his Kumarigal-based rented house, Buddhiraj gets another call from a landline telephone number of Samata Hospital. The first call was from the mobile phone of his wife, Bimala.
In the second call, hospital staffers informed Buddhiraj that his wife hadn't been seen in the hospital the entire day.
Upon reaching the hospital at around 8pm, Buddhiraj asked the staffers there to open all the rooms to ensure whether his wife was there. “I asked the security guard on duty that night to provide the keys,” said Buddhiraj, adding, “All the rooms were opened except two which were said to be private rooms and the guard did not have the keys of those rooms.”
Buddhiraj sensed that something was wrong. And he went to the nearby police station to file a complaint inquiring the whereabouts of his wife.
After he was denied access to the rooms, Buddiraj reached the Baudhha police station and reported what he had experienced at the hospital. The police then suggested carrying out an investigation the next morning.
The next morning at around 7, Buddhiraj and Bimala's elder brother Asal Man Tamang asked the hospital to search for Bimala. After quarrels and use of threatening language, the security guard, who had joined the hospital on Tuesday, gave the keys of the 'two private rooms'.
As they entered room no. 18, they found Bimala hanging there with her shawl. Her feet hung an inch above the ground with her right hand holding the shawl around her neck, according to Asal Man Tamang. There was a slipper on one of her feet.
“We found a note from Bimala's body which disclosed the names of three staffers of the hospital. The note clearly asked to arrest three staffers including hospital founder Uttam Sanjel's wife,” said Asal Man. However, it didn't say anything about what their wrongdoing was.
Following the incident, her kin, locals and others staged protests outside the hospital demanding a probe into the incident. "As per the note we collected from the dead body, a case has been filed against the accused,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Hobindra Bogati, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Crime Range.
“The investigation is underway. The forensic team is trying to verify the evidences collected from the crime scene. The task of verifying if the handwriting on the note matches with that of the deceased becomes quite crucial as it could link the incident to many other aspects,” added Bogati.
As of now, an autopsy of the body has been carried out at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj. According to the initial report, the cause of death is hanging, said DSP Bogati.
The missing trail
The family and relatives of the deceased have accused the hospital of conspiring a homicide and taking her life. They have claimed that a few unusual activities related to the incident have led them to think so. According to Bimala's husband, the hospital had not paid her since two months. “She mentioned at times that she used to have work pressure from other staffers at work,” he added.
“The room where she was found was mentioned to be a private space. How was it possible that she got the key to a private room that even the security guards don't have access to? Buddhiraj asked, adding, “If she committed suicide, how is it possible that they hid and kept Bimala hanging behind a locked door?