Doctor arrested in Assam hit-and-run case

By Special Correspondent

A Guwahati-based senior doctor, who had allegedly helped a model and ex-Miss India finalist evade the police by admitting her to the ICU of a private hospital, was arrested on Sunday after three days of interrogation.

Rajkanya Baruah, the 29-year-old model had checked into the private hospital on October 5 citing poor health after the police had summoned her in connection with a hit-and-run case at about 2 a.m. on October 2. Neurosurgeon Navanil Barua had reportedly facilitated her admission.

But a six-member medical board found that her condition was not so bad that she needed to be in an ICU. The police arrested her the following day on a couple of charges, including an attempt to culpable homicide for injuring eight road workers, while the legs of a ninth worker had to be amputated.

She allegedly knocked down the labourers with her car while driving from home from a five-star hotel, reportedly after attending a birthday party.

Ms. Baruah managed to get bail within 24 hours of the incident because of a faulty probe by the police. This triggered public outrage and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stepped in to ask the police to reopen the case.

Two police officers were subsequently “closed” to the police reserve for a faulty investigation.

Assam’s Director-General of Police, Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, conceded that the police had erred at the initial stage of the case. He also admitted that Dr. Barua had contacted him at the time of admitting the model, now in judicial custody.

“The doctor had told me the woman has a suicidal tendency and as such, if she is arrested, we should take the precautions. I said that will be taken care of. But he did not say anything about admitting her in the ICU,” Mr. Mahanta said.


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