Dr Vandana murder: Eyewitness recounts chilling details

Dr Vandana Das (left) and ambulance driver Rajesh (right). Photo: Manorama

Kottarakkara: Eyewitness account of the murder of the house surgeon Dr Vandana Das at the Kottarakkara Taluk Hospital in the wee hours of Wednesday revealed how the young doctor was an easy target for the assailant brought for medical check-up at the facility by the police.

Ambulance driver Rajesh, eyewitness to the brutal murder committed by accused Sandeep, narrated how it all happened soon after the suspended school teacher was brought for medical examination.

Rajesh said, at the time, he was at the waiting room adjacent to the hospital's casualty. “I had gone to sleep only by 2 am. Later, I woke up all of a sudden hearing a commotion from the casualty. On rushing there I saw Sandeep beating home guard Alex Kutty. The assailant had pinned Kutty to a chair. When I grabbed Sandeep from behind, he thrashed me on my left upper arm. I realised I was bleeding; Sandeep was stabbing Kutty and me with surgical scissors,” Rajesh recalled.

The assailant had looped his thumb between a ring of the scissors to hold it firmly, according to Rajesh.

"Sandeep yet again stabbed Kutty and then attacked the sub-inspector (SI) of police from the Pooyappally station, who had brought him to the hospital along with some other officers. The sub-inspector tried to tackle the assailant with a plastic chair. But he lost his balance and fell on the floor. Once again Sandeep turned towards the SI and tried to stab him. However, the SI rolled away from him. Assistant sub-inspector R Manilal, who was in charge of the security, rushed to the room on hearing the commotion. Sandeep, by then on the floor, got up and attacked Manilal, forced him against the wall by the neck and stabbed twice on the neck," Rajesh told Manorama.

“The injured police officers and Dr Muhammed Shibin, also present in the room, immediately rushed outside. When I tried to overpower Sandeep, he came at me with the scissors. Meanwhile, somebody who had run out of the casualty locked its main door from the outside; I was trapped inside along with the doctors and some other medical staff, including women,” said Rajesh.

"During this time, Sandeep walked to and fro in the hall, mumbling this and that. Later, he sat on a chair near the lift. I was then standing adjacent to the glass door inside the casualty,” the ambulance driver explained.

Soon, according to Rajesh, the duty doctor Pournami along with Vandana reached the hall from a room inside hearing all the noise.

“I locked the other lady staff in the nurses’ room; Dr Pournami rushed to the doctors’ room in the casualty and locked the door from inside. Only Dr Vandana remained in the hall. I shouted at her to run away from there. But she was stunned seeing all the violence and froze, staring at Sandeep,” said Rajesh.

“I ran into the nurses’ room and held the door tightly. A few seconds later, I heard some sounds from the hall. They were similar to somebody beating on the floor. I opened the door slightly and looked outside; I was shocked to see Sandeep sitting on Dr Vandana’s back and stabbing her repeatedly on the head in the observation room,” he said.

Then, Rajesh saw Dr Shibin rushing to the observation room and trying to rescue Dr Vandana from Sandeep by pulling her feet. Sandeep, who was sitting, tried to get up. Dr Shibin pushed the assailant away and the latter fell on his back. As the assailant fell, the scissors was thrown out of his hand.

Dr Shibin carried Dr Vandana and started running, but by then Sandeep grabbed the scissors and stabbed her again on the back. Still, Dr Shibin managed to take Dr Vandana outdoors through a door near the X-ray room, said Rajesh.

Sandeep then walked out of the observation room and Rajesh followed. The assailant washed the scissors at the water filter in the hall and abandoned the weapon there. “As soon as he had dropped the scissors, I grabbed the assailant from behind and pinned him to the floor. At the same time, officers from the Kottarakkara police station reached the spot and opened the casualty’s main door. Initially, Sandeep’s hands were tied with a towel. The police handcuffed him later,” said Rajesh.

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