Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched a scathing attack on Tirupati Panigrahi, the owner of the Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital over the death of 3 persons in the tragic AC compressor explosion at the hospital and the subsequent controversy pertaining to the dead body identity mix-up.

The party demanded a judicial investigation into the incident. 

The BJP questioned how patients with 90 percent burns could be treated at Hi-Tech Hospital which has no facility for burn patients. “This is a gross violation of medical service norms and is a cognizable offence. It is a conspiracy," said Odisha BJP spokesperson, Anil Biswal.

Addressing a presser on Monday, Biswal said that the owner of Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital was in Odisha on December 27 when the incident was reported. “There are photos of him participating in social programmes in Gajapati that day. Why he did a vanishing act on December 29 just after the incident. It was heard that he was outside the state,” he pointed out.

He also alleged that as Panigrahi is a ruling BJD leader, and the government is shielding him. “The Health Department and the Labour Commission are silent on the incident,” he added. 

“Misguided by wrong identification of the dead body, a crest-fallen innocent woman (the wife of deceased Dilip) committed suicide after hearing about her husband's death. She was pregnant at that time,” he alleged.

“Who is responsible for her death? Why section 306 of IPC relating to abetment to suicide will not be applied in this case?" he said demanding a judicial probe and Rs 1 Crore compensation to the bereaved family from the Chief Minister’s Relief fund.

Also Read: Hi-Tech tragedy: Govt to probe incident, says hospital CEO

On the other hand, Tirupati Panigrahi told the media that after the explosion, the injured were admitted to the hospital for treatment. "The bodies were identified by the informant. We just provide service. As the patients were burnt, we are not required to identify them. We just provide service to the patients. This is legal. Besides, we have not demanded money for treatment. We have not neglected their treatment,” he added.

No comments have been received from the Odisha Health Department & the Labour Commission.