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Plea by AMRI victims’ kin

The families of six of those killed in the AMRI Hospitals fire last December have moved the state consumer forum seeking an order to increase the compensation amount offered by the hospital. The families also pleaded that each death be considered separately.

The families of all 92 fire victims have rejected the hospital’s offer of Rs 5 lakh as compensation for each.

“The AMRI authorities were guilty of gross negligence that led to the death of so many patients. We have evidence that patient welfare was not a top priority for them even after the fire was spotted. So, we are questioning the hospital’s right to decide on the compensation package,” said Raja Ganguly, son of Jaharlal Ganguly, one of the 92 victims.

The six families have requested the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to decide on the package by judging each death separately and issue an order for increasing the amount offered by the hospital.

“Obviously, the relatives of a 32-year-old working mother of two should get more compensation that what I should get for my father’s death,” Ganguly said.

He said he had rushed upstairs after hearing about the fire to carry his 67-year-old father to safety but the staff apparently dissuaded him by saying everything was under control.

“We have given in writing to the commission details of each of the six victims and what we relatives, some of whom were on the hospital premises when the fire broke out, had experienced,” said Ganguly. The relatives hope the details would help the commission prepare better compensation packages.

The families of 62 of the victims have come together to form the Human Health Rights Forum and signed a pledge not to accept the “paltry amount” offered by the hospital.

The next of kin of all the victims, however, have accepted the Rs 5 lakh offered by the state and central governments.

Commission sources said the case would be heard on October 8.