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Ramakanta Biswas

Cuttack: Taking suo moto cognizance of alleged torture of a destitute patient at SCB Medical College and Hospital here, Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Wednesday registered a case and assured to take stringent action over the matter.

The OHRC move came after a team led by the rights body member Asim Amitabh Das visited the hospital today to inquire into the alleged torture case.

Yesterday, a video purportedly showing an attendant beating up a patient at the destitute ward of SCB Medical College and Hospital went viral on social media. In the viral video, a woman attendant was seen hitting a destitute patient with wooden stick while some other patients were seen lying in a miserable condition.

According to sources, the attendant who was seen hitting the patient was identified as Parbati Samal. She was earlier suspended from work for allegedly shooting TikTok video inside the hospital. However, another contract firm had re-engaged her.

An OTV report on the incident spurred the administration to take the matter seriously with an OHRC team visiting the destitute ward to hold discussions with patients. Besides, the team held discussion with department officer, security officer and attendants of the department regarding the torture of patients.

The OHRC member asked the SCB authorities to lodge a complaint against the attendant and remain careful to ensure that such incidents do not reoccur in future.

“A case has been registered in this regard and stringent action will be taken against those found guilty. The accused attendant and a security guard have been disengaged from service,” OHRC member Das said.

Meanwhile, another attendant refuted the allegations of harassment against the patient and claimed that the assistant against whom the charges were levelled was just trying to control the patient.

“It is not true that the attendant beat up the patient. She might have held the patient, but did not beat him. Patients often defecate in the ward and abuse attendants,” the attendant said.

She also made counter allegations against a security guard who reportedly witnessed the torture. “The security guard is often found taking nap during duty hours and was not even present there during which the incident happened. I was on leave and do not know about the viral video,” the attendant added.


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