The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Row at hospital over twin baby deaths

There was tension at Vidyasagar Hospital in Behala following the death of two new-born babies on Friday night due to alleged negligence on part of the hospital authorities. The mothers of both babies blamed the attending doctors of the hospital’s maternity ward for the deaths.

As the news spread, residents joined relatives of the two mothers assembled in front of the hospital on Saturday morning and staged a demonstration, demanding immediate punishment for the “negligent” doctors.

N.K. Halder, superintendent of the hospital, said he had received complaints from the two women. “I have ordered a probe into the incident,” he added.

Both incidents occurred late on Friday. Khadina Babi gave birth to a child. “My baby was alive for over two hours. When I realised that her condition was deteriorating, I called the doctors. But no doctor was available,” she alleged. “Later, when the doctor arrived, he examined my baby for a few minutes and declared it dead.”

Another mother, Monica Biswas from Sarsuna, was given accommodation on the floor due to scarcity of beds. Her story, too, runs along similar lines. “Had the doctors been present, my baby could have been saved,” she said.

Moloy Patra, state secretary of Indian Medical Association (IMA) who is attached to the hospital, refuted all charges of negligence. “Monica developed some complications and gave birth to a still-born baby,” he stated.

According to hospital sources, 33 babies were born in the hospital on Saturday. “Among them, two died. The other babies are in good health. So, there is no question of negligence on the part of the hospital authorities,” said another doctor.

Though the demonstration continued for some time, the protesters left after the hospital superintendent promised that a probe would be ordered and action taken if negligence was proved.

However, one of the women has lodged a complaint with the local police station.

Flesh trade arrests

Police unearthed an alleged prostitution racket and arrested 20 persons, including eight teenage girls and 11 men, from a housing complex on Prince Anwar Shah Road in the Jadavpur police station area on Saturday night. They were booked under the Immoral Traffic Act.

According to police, Rupashree Mukherjee, the prime accused, was picked up from her apartment. The woman had been arrested earlier on the same charges.

A police team, led by deputy superintendent of police, town, Humayun Kabir, stormed the flat and netted the accused. “The racket was in operation for the past few months. We are trying to trace other places where such activities are going on,” Kabir added.

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