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Gangtok: This Friday morning a pall of gloom descended over Sikkim with the news of demise of Dr. Sanjay Upreti, who was fighting for his life for the past 10 days.

Dr Sanjay, a cardiologist at the STNM Hospital here, was stabbed on December 14, when he intervened the stabbing of a sanitary attendant named Kala Chettri. The accused, identified as Thinlay Bhutia who narrated a story to the media after his arrest, said he “stabbed Kala Chettri because she was not answering phone calls”.

While Kala Chettri’s condition has reportedly stabilized, Dr. Sanjay, who was stabbed in his groin region that turned gangrenous resulting in his left leg getting amputated, didn’t survive the attack. At 3:40 am on Friday, Dr. Sanjay breathed his last.

His postmortem examination is taking place t North Bengal Medical following which his mortal remains will be brought back today to his native in Mamring, South Sikkim.

Sikkim has been mourning the demise of the doctor, whom people are now referring to as a “hero” and a “martyr” with many hailing the cardiologist for his bravery.

Governor Ganga Prasad expressed his anguish at the demise of Dr. Sanjay.He wrote, “In his professional career, Dr. Sanjay served everyone. His death is a big loss to the medical fraternity of Sikkim. He will be remembered for his contribution to Sikkimese people. My sincere condolences to the bereaved family, friends of Dr. Upreti who will be deeply missed by all. And pray for the departed soul. Om Shanti!”

Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay shared on social media, “I am deeply saddened by the untimely demise of Dr. Sanjay Upreti, who was undergoing treatment at Neotia Hospital, Siliguri. Sikkim has lost a remarkable human being and a brilliant doctor, and in this hour of grief, I extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved family, friends and pray for the departed soul.”

Former CM Pawan Kumar Chamling shared that he was deeply pained and disturbed by the tragic news of Dr. Sanjay Upreti succumbing to his injuries this morning. He issued a press statement wherein he was quoted, “Sikkim has lost one of the finest cardiologists, an ideal doctor and one of its bravest sons. Sikkim and humanity at large will never forget the courage he displayed and the sacrifice he made to save the life of a helpless woman under attack. We haven’t seen such an example in recent memory.”

“I salute him as a Pavitra Veer and Pavitra Krantikari who gave his life fighting for another human life. His valiant act shows how much he valued human life. He was a cardiologist by profession who treated people’s hearts and physical sickness. Tragically, he became a victim of one who was sick in his mind, thought and intellect. Sadly, Sikkim is witnessing the spread of this sickness. His tragic death must awaken Sikkim to take a stand against such murderous elements,” the statement further read.

Chamling reiterated his appeal to the government to constitute a bravery award in honour of his exemplary bravery and heroic action. “The Sikkim government, in memory of this heroic cardiologist, can name the Cardiology Department at STNM Hospital after him. In addition, the state government could name a government hospital or a health centre that is closest to his native place in his memory.”

Footbal icon and politician Bhaichung Bhutia, on behalf of his Hamro Sikkim Party, wrote, “The Hamro Sikkim Party is stunned, and deeply shocked by the demise of the young Dr. Sanjay Upreti, a cardiologist of repute who had a major role to play in the establishment of the cardiology department in the new STNM multi-speciality Hospital. Assaulted by an alleged person who was deeply into drug addiction, his death is a reminder that the state has to tackle and fight the drug abuse collectively. Sikkim today has lost not only such a vibrant, young and most promising doctor, but also a young man who had his life before him. It is unthinkable that he had to breathe his last on such a petty matter, and would implore the government to prevent such incidents at any costs.”

Meanwhile, across the Sikkimese border, Darjeeling-based politician and philanthropist Ajay Edwards wrote on his social media page, “On this Christmas Eve, my thoughts go out to Dr. Sanjay Upreti from Sikkim. I did not have the opportunity to know him, but who in his lifetime saved so many patients and in the end, died trying to save a colleague from an attacker. It was not his fight, he could have chosen to run and hide, like most of us would, but he chose to do the right thing. May we learn from his bravery and sacrifice that a ‘Life lived for others is the only life worth living’. Praying for his family and friends and mourning his loss along with the entire people of Sikkim and Darjeeling. Rest in peace good Doctor.”

Scores of people from Sikkim took to social media to express their anguish at the loss of a great doctor from the state.

Sikkim: Dr Sanjay Upreti, who was stabbed at STNM hospital, dies

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