NHRC issues notice to Odisha govt over pregnant woman’s death

New Delhi: National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to Odisha government over reports that a pregnant woman died along with and her unborn child allegedly after being kicked and slapped by a nurse at a government-run hospital in Mayurbhanj district of the state.

“The contents of the press report, if true, indicates gross negligence and prevailing lawlessness in the government- run hospital in the Mayurbhanj district and raises serious questions of violation of human rights,” NHRC member Justice D Murugesan said in a statement here today.

Taking a suo motu cognisance of a media report, the panel has issued notice to the Chief Secretary of Odisha government and sought a report in the matter within four weeks.

According to the media report published on October 7, the victim woman was admitted to the district hospital in Baripada town on October 4. However, the doctor on duty reportedly asked her to wait till Monday for the delivery.

At 2 AM, when she went into labour, a worker of ASHA who had accompanied her reportedly called for a nurse. The nurse allegedly abused the victim for screaming in pain and asked the ASHA worker to take her to the labour room. She then got enraged over the delay and allegedly hit the pregnant woman with her chappal and also kicked her, it claimed.

Subsequently, she was taken to the labour room by a doctor where she delivered a still born child and died a few hours later. It is also alleged that even after the death of both the mother and her child, the hospital staff demanded money to move their body, the statement said.

An FIR was also lodged at Baripada town police station in this regard. The nurse reportedly had been suspended.