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Mumbai: ‘A decent person and exceptional doctor’

Updated on: 27 May,2024 09:09 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Eshan Kalyanikar |

Long-time friends and colleagues shocked by allegations against Sion hospital forensic department head

Mumbai: ‘A decent person and exceptional doctor’

Police escort Dr Rajesh Dere after he was released on bail. PIC/ATUL KABmLE

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Mumbai: ‘A decent person and exceptional doctor’

Head of the forensic department at Sion hospital Dr Rajesh Dere, who is accused of causing death by negligence, was produced before Shindewadi holiday court in Dadar and was granted bail. His colleagues, including the dean of the hospital, Dr Mohan Joshi, who have known him for the last two decades said they were shocked by the nature of allegations against him and described him as an exceptional doctor and a decent person. Meanwhile, Dr Joshi claimed that he was unaware of Dr Dere running his car over a patient inside the hospital premises until the next day. The incident occurred on Friday evening. 

According to Dr Joshi, there was a mild abrasion on the patient’s left leg. “That is what the photograph showed which I had witnessed in the mortuary. There was a chest injury, no face injury, and one dressing was given to the right wrist. If there is anything else that the postmortem shows, they will be able to take action against Dr Dere.”

CCTV footage shows Dr Dere’s car run over Zubaida Shaikh, and (right) people attempting to help herCCTV footage shows Dr Dere’s car run over Zubaida Shaikh, and (right) people attempting to help her

He added that Dr Dere had taken the patient to the casualty ward where she was treated. “The patient suffered a heart attack and eventually died.”
When asked why, as the dean of the hospital, he wasn’t informed about the incident earlier, he said, “There are a thousand patients coming to the hospital daily, and it was thought to be a heart attack.”

The Sion police also filed an FIR in the case about 24 hours later, as in the earlier reports they claimed that Dr Dere initially did not reveal the woman had met with an accident. He has also been booked under IPC section 177 which deals with providing false information.

The victim Zubaida ShaikhThe victim Zubaida Shaikh

BMC Assistant Municipal Commissioner (health), Dr Sudhakar Shinde, said, “We are trying to understand what happened and how we can improve the system so it doesn’t happen again. Some things are very technical and are part of the police investigation.”

Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) representative Dr Bakul Naik said, “Dr Dere is known to be a very kind and helpful person towards students in the hospital. We are not sure of what happened but it is very out of character for him.”

The accident took place inside Sion hospital premises on Friday. File picThe accident took place inside Sion hospital premises on Friday. File pic

Dr Dere is known for his work during COVID-19 as he was the dean of the BKC Jumbo Centre. He heads the forensic department at Sion hospital, which he joined in the early 2000s. Dr Dere’s medicolegal science expertise has been appreciated by higher officials during the 2006 Mumbai train blasts and the 26/11 terror attacks in 2008. “The medical community is small so we have heard what happened. It is certainly shocking,” said Dr Bina Dias, former associate professor  of biochemistry at Sion hospital.

A top BMC official, on condition of anonymity, told mid-day that the dean of the hospital was attempting to push the matter under the carpet and that the post-mortem report has shown massive injuries on the woman’s chest.

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