Mathematician Vashishtha Narayan Singh dies, hospital ‘denies’ ambulance

PATNA: Renowned mathematician Vashishtha Narayan Singh died at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) here on Thursday after prolonged illness.

Mathematician Vashishtha Narayan Singh dies, hospital ‘denies’ ambulance

Vashishth Narayan Singh. PTI

rchopra@tribunemail.com

Patna, November 14

Renowned mathematician Vashishtha Narayan Singh died at Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) here on Thursday after prolonged illness.

The premier government hospital in an utter show of callousness denied an ambulance to his family to carry the body.

The mathematician was 74.

Singh, who was released from the PMCH after month-long treatment recently, was rushed back to the hospital again when his condition deteriorated in the morning.

The renowned mathematician, who once worked at NASA and California University, did not get the respect from doctors and officials of the PMCH where he breathed his last.

Expressing grief over Singh’s death, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said it has caused an irreparable loss to the state and the country.

The chief minister announced that Singh will be cremated with full state honour, an official release said.

Kumar later visited the maths wizard’s younger brother Ayodhya Prasad Singh’s house near Kulharia complex in Patna and paid floral tributes to him.

Prominent leaders from all political parties expressed grief over death of “Vashishtha babu” as he was fondly called by the people.

Those who paid respect to him included Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi,union ministers Giriraj Singh, Nityanand Rai, former Bihar CM Rabri Devi, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal.

A video clip, which was aired on various news channels and in social media, showed Singh’s younger brother Ayodhya Prasad Singh standing with his body on a stretcher outside the emergency ward of the PMCH.

The hospital authorities did not provide the family an ambulance.

Ayodhya Prasad Singh, the younger brother of the legendry mathematician, alleged that the hospital authorities did not provide him with an ambulance to take the body to his house in Patna and that’s why the body was kept in the open in the hospital premises.

Asked why did not he contacted any official for help, Ayodhya Singh, while showing the death certificate provided by the PMCH, said “Whom should I tell my problem. There is no one to listen to my problem. I will take the body to my native village Basantpur in Bhojpur in hired private ambulance.

The government never paid attention towards Singh’s treatment, he alleged.

Health department’s Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar, however, denied that the hospital authorities kept the mathematician’s body in the open. He also disagreed that ambulance facility was provided after much delay to the family.

“Singh had died before being brought to the hospital (PMCH) and doctors were discussing whether or not post-mortem should be done in this case. This is the only reason, the body was kept for a while. Even Superintendent (PMCH) has denied delay in providing the ambulance.

“But since the matter has appeared in news, so an inquiry will be conducted into it,” Kumar told reporters here.

JD(U) leader Chhotu Singh, who was among the politicians to reach the PMCH first after getting information of his death, defended the government saying chief minister made all arrangements soon after coming to know about the mathematician’s demise and announced Singh’s cremation with full state honour.

PMCH Superintendent Rajiv Ranjan Prasad claimed that the ambulance was made available to Singh’s family as soon as he got the information about his death.

The hospital’s Deputy Superintendent Ranjit Kumar Jamuar too toed his Superitendent’s line saying ambulance was made available to the family.

Singh, who was born in Basantpur village of Bhojpur district, did his schooling from Netarhat school of then undivided Bihar.

He also studied at Patna Science College from where he straightway went to California University in 1965 and did his Ph.D from the University in 1969.

After receiving his Ph.D on Cycle Vector Space Theory, he worked at NASA. He returned to India in 1971.

Singh taught at prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.

He also worked at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

He married in the year 1974. The mathematics wizard suffered from schizophrenia. After a few years of marriage his wife left him due to his illness.

Later, in the year 2014, Singh was appointed as guest faculty in B N Mandal University, Madhepura as visiting professor. — PTI

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