Botched sterilisation: Rahul accuses Chhattisgarh govt of cover-up, meets families
BILASPUR: Attacking the BJP government in Chhattisgarh
over botched sterilisation surgery deaths, Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused it
of trying to cover-up the case instead of accepting responsibility after he met
the affected families here.
“The duty of the government is to serve and provide
(good health) services. Contrary to this, the camps were not properly
organised. Instead of taking responsibility for the incident, medicines (used
in sterilisation camps) are being burnt. Evidence are being destroyed. They are
trying to cover-up the case," the Congress Vice President told reporters
after visiting the affected women here at different hospitals.
The sterilisation surgeries at government-run medical
camps have so far claimed lives of 13 young women while 138 others were
undergoing treatment in the home district of state Health Minister Amar
Gandhi demanded a thorough investigation and alleged
that corruption had a role in the tragedy. He also visited the family members
of the deceased at Amsena village near Bilaspur.
“I met the family members of the women who lost their
lives. They told me what happened. Due to (contaminated) medicines the women
had to face complications. It’s not just a case of negligence but it’s a case
of corruption. It is the responsibility of the government to check such things but
it has failed to do so,” he alleged.
12 of the woman who died were among the 83 operated
upon at Nemichand Jain Cancer and Research Centre at Pendhari village of
Takhatpur blockon November 8.ChaitiBai was the lone casualty from Pendrablock
where around 56 women underwent surgeries at three different camps on November
The Raman Singh government has constituted a
single-member commission under retired judge Anita Jha to probe the cases. Laparoscopic
surgeon RK Gupta, who had performed sterilisation procedures on 83 women in one
of the camps at Pendari village in Bilaspur in a matter of few hours, has been
Also, in a crackdown on manufacturers of medicines
used at the medical camps where the surgeries took place, the director of
Mahawar Pharma Pvt Ltd, Ramesh Mahawar his son Sumit were arrested yesterday
under section 420.
“First thing, it should be found out what had
happened. Certainly, something was amiss somewhere. The government is
responsible and the Health Minister (is responsible),” Gandhi said adding, “I
felt very sad. The entire family suffers when the mother suffers.”
The Congress has sought the resignation of the state's
health minister Amar Agrawal. The minister, however, rejected the demand and
added that the party will decide his fate.
Anita Bai, 25, who suffered from complications that
also killed 13 women after undergoing mass sterilisation in a government-run
programme, tends to her child at the district hospital in Bilaspur on November
15, 2014. AFP
“Whenever an incident takes place, it is the
responsibility of the government....I take moral responsibility for the
incident. There is no question of resignation. I don't take decisions. It is
for the party to decide," he said. He said that protocol set for
sterilisation procedure had been violated.