The Thimphu police have detained a 32-year old man in connection with the death of a JDWNRH hospital security guard who died of severe head injury, while on duty on the night of February 8.
The 24 year old security guard from Wangdue working under Jachung Security Service (JSS) for the past one year was found lying unconscious in the hospital’s third level trolly ramp bleeding from his mouth and nose. He was admitted to the ICU but could not be saved.
Hospital staff reported the case to police at around 8:45 PM who in turn detained a 32 year old man from Samtse found loitering inside the hospital with no reason. The man previously worked as a laundry boy in the hospital.
According to police, the suspect indicated that he had had arguments with the deceased. The suspect told the police that on the morning of 8 February, at around 8 AM, they had some tussle while he was visiting a relative admitted in hospital.
The suspect also claimed that on the same day, towards evening, the deceased started charging him and a fight broke out between them. Police are investigating the case to see involvement of other people. Police did not find any weapon or object used by the suspect.
JDWNRH medical superintendent Dr Gosar Pemba said the management does not know what happened that night aside from being told that the incident took place at around 8:15 PM.
“Another security personnel saw the deceased lying at the start of the ramp on level three,” Dr Gosar Pemba said. “He was immediately admitted to ICU and at around 11:30 pm he died.”
Dr Pemba said the deceased died of severe back and side head injury. “It seems he was hit with a hard object because unless person is hit with a hard object a person does not die,” he added.
He also said that they heard that there was some misunderstanding between the deceased and the main suspect before the incident.
The medical superintendent meanwhile emphasized that the CCTV in the hospital has been out of service for the past 3 to 4 months. “We have put up requisition for new installation of CCTV cameras at the earliest,” he said. There are no CCTV cameras installed in the ramp area where the deceased was found lying on the ground.
He said the management feels sorry for the deceased as he died on duty but hospital is not liable for this matter since they have out-sourced the responsibility to JSS. “Once the investigation is done we will provide them the help if they need it,” Dr Pemba said.
However, a JSS representative also laid blame on the hospital for not installing an effective CCTV camera system. The representative said that one of the conditions for JSS taking over from another security firm is that the hospital have a working CCTV system which was never done. The representative said that the CCTV could have at least caught the movements of the suspect instead of having a suspect with no witness to the crime or no weapon on him.
The CCTV system of JDWNRH was installed by STCBL in 2010 and though it was due for replacement in 2015 it was not done.
Sangay, a 28 year old security guard of JDWNRH, said none of the other guards saw the deceased getting into a fight. “When I was waiting outside for my friends after duty, people came to me and said that, one of our guard friends was lying on the floor, and when I went to see, I saw him lying on the ramp with blood around him,” Sangay said. “He was unconscious and we saw no movement while taking him to the emergency ward.”
Sangay said they had seen the former laundry boy loitering around the hospital. He said the man had a relative admitted in the Orthopedic ward who was discharged on 6 February, but still the man was found around the hospital after that date.
This is the second major safety incident at the hospital in recent memory. Earlier on 22 December 2016, police detained a 32 year old man for attacking a patient and his two attendants in a cabin of JDWNRH. At around 5:30 am when one of the attendants left the room, the suspect entered the room and started hitting the patient’s head and when his wife tried to stop him covering her husband’s head, the suspect than hit her with a stone and knocked her down too.
The victim’s wife tried to protect her husband’s head with a pillow but the suspect threw away the pillow. The other attendant upon hearing the screams entered the room and tried to stop the attacker. The attacker also pushed her onto the floor and started hitting her head several times.
However, the patient managed to push the suspect out of the room and he collapsed in the process. In addition, the suspect also pushed a nurse and fought with a male nurse who was on duty. After a while, somehow security managed to get hold of the suspect and later handed him over to the police.