Subhadeep was a kind and generous person who was dearly loved and respected by his family, friends, colleagues and patients.
Subhadeep was the senior medical officer in charge of the ICCU wing of Burnpur SAIL Hospital. He primarily handled patients requiring critical care . He was an excellent doctor and was rewarded for his performance by SAIL for his excellence in patient care. Subhadeep has saved thousands of lives and has always spread joy to all who have had the chance to meet him.
He got married three years ago after which things began to go wrong and Subhajeet and his family became subject of Legal extortion. Ruma Khan, the wife of Dr Subhadeep Khan, had lodged an FIR at Kulti police station alleging that she was being mentally and physically tortured by her husband and in laws. The district and sessions court of Burdwan granted an advance bail to Subhadeep’s ageing parents. But, Subhadeep failed to secure bail there. Later, Calcutta high court granted him bail. The sub-inspector of Kulti police station, Tojammel Mondal, in connivance with Subhadeep’s in laws’ started putting pressure on him and even asked him to settle the issue by bribing him and paying alimony to Ruma. When Subhadeep refused, Mojammel threatened him with dire consequences. Failing to sustain such torture, Subhadeep committed suicide by administering upon himself a poisonous injection while on duty at the hospital on March 19 2015. He was compelled to commit suicide becausey his wife, Mrs. Ruma Khan and her parents were using IPC 498A as a tool to threaten him and extort money from him and his aged parents. Subhadeep has, in his suicide note, explicitly held Mrs. Ruma Khan and her parents Mr. Madhusudan Chandra and Mrs. Pranati Chandra responsible for his death. However the police failed to arrest the accused.
His death caused a furore in West Bengal. There was overwhelming support for the candle light march that was organised on 5th April at Kolkata from Rani Rashmoni Street, Dharamtala to College Square. Despite the norwester and heavy showers, as many as 200-250 people turned up for the march, a mojority of them women. It made headlines and was covered by media.
In the meantime District and sessions judge of Burdwan Pawan Kumar Mondal has directed Asansol-Durgapur police commissioner Vineet Goyal to probe the role of the sub-inspector of Kulti police station, Tojammel Mondal in the case. The court directive has created a stir in local police headquarters as it has come as a chilling reminder of the alleged role of senior cops in the mysterious death of Rizwanur Rahaman in Kolkata a few years ago. Justice Mondal expressed his dismay that no action has yet been taken against the accused police officer despite the victim’s family lodging an FIR against him. He has directed police commissioner Goyal to investigate the incident and submit a report within 15 days. The judge termed the incident to be very unfortunate and “such kind of false cases against husbands should be immediately stopped”.
In the context of misuse of Section 498A leading to increasing number of suicides by falsely accused men, the Hon’ble Chairperson of the West Bengal Women’s Commission, Ms. Sunanda Mukherjee states that a person commits suicide because such person lacks will power.
This is especially interesting in light of Section 498A which defines “cruelty” as follows: “any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide …”
So the Hon’ble Chairperson has to clarify
Are you saying that a woman can be compelled to commit suicide (and that does not show lack of will power on her part) but when a man commits suicide due to such conduct that drives him to do so, then it is simply a lack of will power and not cruelty?
Should it be understood that any person who commits suicide does so only because he or she lacks will power? In that case the very definition of cruelty under Section 498A lacks substance and it is time for a relook.
As the debate continues, society lost another great son as Subhadeep became another Martyr of Marriage.