Chettri arrested as AMRI director: Mamata

WB CM Mamata Banerjee described the AMRI Hospital fire as one of the saddest moments of her life.

Updated: Jan 30, 2012, 21:34 PM IST

Kolkata: Describing the AMRI Hospital fire
as one of the saddest moments of her life, West Bengal Chief
Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said veteran doctor Mani Chhetri had been arrested in connection with the incident.

She said Chhetri was an administrator of the hospital
when the incident took place.
"I respect Mani Chhetri as a doctor. He was not
arrested because he was a doctor, but because he is the
administrator of the hospital. The other doctor (Pranab
Dasgupta) was arrested because he is a director," Banerjee
clarified during an interview to three news channels.

On reports that a section of doctors have criticised
her government for arresting the 91-year-old Chhetri, who was
also the physician of former Chief Minister Jyoti Basu,
Banerjee said, "If age is a factor, why did he remain the
managing director? The MD is the pillar of an organistion. The
license for the hospital was issued in his name."
She said she had enquired about Chhetri`s well-being
after his arrest and that the doctor, now admitted to the
state-run SSKM Hospital under police custody, was free to
appeal to the court if he wanted to be transferred to a
private facility.

"I will not interfere in this matter. The law will
take its own course," she said.

Banerjee said Chhetri had retained his living quarters
at the SSKM Hospital despite having retired from service
there.

Describing the incident as the saddest experience of
her life, Banerjee said, ``This was a turning point. Not only
the entire country, but the entire world wanted the guilty to
be arrested.``

With the arrest of Chhetri and Dasgupta, the police has
arrested 13 people in connection with the incident and issued
look-out notices for three others who are absconding.

On the reported statement by a section of industry
bodies that the arrest of the AMRI functionaries would
adversely affect the state`s industrialisation attempts, she
said, ``A section of the media is now trying to give a
Marwari versus Bengali twist over the arrests.``

``An attempt was made to play the Muslim-versus-Marwari
card during the Rizwanur Rahaman death case. But a murderer is
a murderer. I condemn any attempt to portray such incidents in
a communal light.``

At a function here earlier, she said she was not
perturbed by the criticism regarding the arrests and the law
will take its own course.

She said that no leniency would be shown to the
accused.

PTI