Bilaspur tragedy: Cong expresses shock, targets C’garh govt

RSTV Bureau

Expressing “deep shock”, Congress on Tuesday targeted Raman Singh government in Chhattisgarh over the death of young women after botched sterilisation procedure at a state-run camp and demanded the dismissal of state health minister Amar Agrawal.

While party President Sonia Gandhi expressed “deep shock and grief over the unfortunate incident of deaths and critical illness of unsuspecting women” at the government sterilisation camp, party spokesperson Shobha Oza said that the incident deserves a judicial inquiry.

Citing previous incidents, Oza alleged that under the tenure of the same health minister uterus of 200 women were operated upon to “usurp” the money under the National Rural Health Mission.

“Dismiss the health minister immediately. Actually Chief Minister himself should resign after the incident, which comes after earlier incidents of medical negligence and corruption in the state. It is unfortunate that such incidents are happening in a state whose Chief Minister himself is a doctor.

“Every time such an incident happens, committees are formed but no one was held responsible earlier also. A judicial inquiry should take place in this incident. It’s time that women in Chhattisgarh are protected from ‘sarkari maut’ (government-sponsored death),” Oza said.

Eight young women died and 52 others were hospitalised after botched sterilisation procedure at a state-run camp in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district, following which the government has suspended four health officials including Chief Medical Health Officer of Bilaspur and ordered a probe.

Congress President Gandhi conveyed her condolences to the family members and friends of those who have lost their near ones and prayed for early recovery of those undergoing treatment.

Oza said that the spine chilling incident proves that women and tribals face “animal like condition” in the BJP- ruled state. She also said that “very unhygienic” conditions prevailed at the camp at Bilaspur where the surgeries were carried out.

In a statement, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said that the government must take strict action against the guilty and ensure the best possible treatment and care for those who are still in a critical condition.

He said that he was “extremely saddened” to hear about the deaths in a sterilisation camp in Chhattisgarh.

“My condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this terrible tragedy,” the Congress Vice President said.