Was 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Mustafa Dossa not treated on time?

Jun 29, 2017, 10:10 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

Though Mustafa Dossa complained of chest pain in the evening, he was not taken to hospital; after admission in JJ Hospital, he was not put in ICCU immediately

Mustafa Dossa on judgment day on June 16 this year
Mustafa Dossa on judgment day on June 16 this year

Mustafa Dossa, one of the masterminds of the 1993 serial blasts, died at JJ Hospital last afternoon following a cardiac arrest, a day after the CBI sought capital punishment for him. But, sources say the hospital ignored grave symptoms and admitted him only to the prison ward, instead of the critical care unit, the night before.

The sources said the Dossa was brought into the hospital around 11 pm on Tuesday with a complaint of chest pain and hypertension. The 50-year-old convict was a chronic diabetic and had a history of hypertension. He had undergone bypass surgery in 2005. His ECG test was performed at the emergency ward and he was allowed to leave after two hours.

Mustafa Dossa with his alleged wife Shabina, while being escorted to Porbandar
Mustafa Dossa with his alleged wife Shabina, while being escorted to Porbandar

Norm flouted
But a doctor at JJ Hospital said Mustafa Dossa returned around 5 am, this time with severe chest pain. "Given the gravity of the complaint and his medical history, he was only admitted to the prison ward of the hospital, not the critical care unit (CCU) as is the practice. His examination was conducted by [professor and head of the department] Dr Vidya Nagar's team."

Also read: 1993 Mumbai blast convict Mustafa Dossa dead, here's all you need to know

Dr Nagar, however, claimed that she was out of town when Dossa was brought in. "I was in Nagpur and returned on Wednesday morning. I examined Dossa and found him to be stable. Even his blood pressure was normal (the reading was 110/84)."

Police personnel posted at JJ Hospital as Mustafa Dossa was admitted yesterday. Pics/SAYYED SAMEER ABEDI
Police personnel posted at JJ Hospital as Mustafa Dossa was admitted yesterday. Pics/SAYYED SAMEER ABEDI

Test results normal: Dean
Hospital dean Dr TP refuted the allegation that doctors failed to gauge the severity of Dossa's symptoms. He claimed that the blasts convict did not leave post the first examination. "Our records show that Dossa was brought around 12.30 am. He was examined at the CCU, where his ECG was taken and his heartbeat was found to be normal. After conducting other tests, we found out that his blood sugar level was at 260 mg/dL (normal is 72 to 108 mg/dL), and he had a temperature of 102°F. His white blood cell count was 22,000 (indicating infection) and he was found to be suffering from a urinary tract infection. He was admitted in the prison ward for that."

Dr Lahane said Dossa's condition was "stable in the morning". "The cardiologist and the physician visited him and another ECG was taken. This was normal again. Around 11.30 am, he suffered a cardiac arrest. We then shifted him to the critical care unit for ventilator support. His condition deteriorated around 2 pm, and he died at 2.30 pm."

Hospital sources, however, trash this, saying Dossa was never taken to the CCU. "Had that been the case, a large number of police personnel would have been deputed there," said a source.

Organs infected
A post-mortem examination, which was videographed, was conducted last evening. Sources said the forensic surgeons found that his kidney was infected, his liver enlarged and the heart showed signs of a cardiac arrest. The viscera have been preserved for chemical examinations.

The provisional death certificate states that the cause of death was "myocardial infarction with renal abscess with hepatomegaly".

Additional Director General (Prisons) Dr BK Upadhaya did not respond to mid-day's queries.

His last day
Dossa's ill health was not a sudden turn of events. An aide of the convict said he had complained of chest pain while leaving court on Tuesday. "He told the escort team about it, but the officers ignored it. He kept complaining about severe chest pain and stomachache. He vomited as well. The jail authorities gave him some pills for relief."

Inputs by Sailee Dhayalkar

From oil merchant to merchant of death

  • Born to a family of oil merchants in Pydhonie (the Kutchi-Memon Dossa clan today controls wholesale trade at Crawford Market); the second among three children
  • Early '70s: Drops out of school and joins family business
  • Late '70s: Follows in elder brother Mohammad's footsteps and works for gold smuggler Haji Mohammad
  • 1988: Flees to the UAE, soon after brother Mohammad's emigration to Dubai to join Dawood Ibrahim
  • £ The family's fortunes leap — they purchase a radio theatre near Crawford Market, and build Manish Market — the first electronic goods market in SoBo. In Dubai, they build one of the biggest gold jewellery showrooms — Mignas
  • 1995: His involvement in the 1993 blasts case is revealed
  • Is caught in Dubai for an offence. On being told he will be deported and asked to choose a country, he chooses India
  • March 20, 2003: Arrested on arrival at the IGI Airport in Delhi
  • February 2007: Main trial concludes. Second leg involving seven accused, including Dossa, begins
  • June 16, 2017: Convicted by TADA court

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