One Dilip Pandit, 60, died of suspected snakebite in a “self-arranged” quarantine centre in Pagliganj village in Balurghat, South Dinajpur, last night. Pandit had returned to the district from Maharashtra one week ago, while following objections from villagers, he had taken shelter in an abandoned market complex of the South Dinajpur Zilla Parishad.
“Even after repeated appeal for help, nobody come to help him to take him to hospital due to the Covid panic. Later, police came from Balurghat and took him to hospital it was already too late,” sources said.
One of his friends, also staying with him in the market complex, rushed to the homeof the deceased and informed his son of Pandit’s physical condition. “They sought help from 11:30 pm, but nobody came to their rescue due to the Covid fear,” said one villager, Shyamali Debnath.
Pandit had returned from Maharashtra on 30 May with 50 others in a lorry they had reserved. “Villagers of Pagliganj protested as he tried to return home. On 31 May, he, along with another migrant worker Subhas Mali, went for a medical check-up in the Khashpur rural hospital.
The doctors sent them in home quarantine. As the villagers protested, they had no option but to take shelter in the abandoned market complex,” a local source said.
“As per medical reports, he died of snakebite. We had been providing him food from home,” said the man’s son, Dipak Pandit. Local sources also said that the place had already been occupied by some people in the decoration business, but that the migrant workers managed to find some space for themselves in the building and had started staying there.