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Sterilisation Tragedy: NHRC Sets to Investigate, Issues Notice to Chhattisgarh Govt

After the death of 13 women in a series of operations conducted by Dr RK Gupta in five hours in Bilaspur, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is about send a team to Chhattisgarh for further investigation in the case.

A mass sterilisation camp organised in the state two days ago has paved way for a tragedy and witnessed the deaths of 13 women among 83 women who has been operated on Saturday.

NHRC chairperson K.G. Balakrishnan told IANS on the sidelines of an event on prison reforms in New Delhi, "We are sending a team to Chhattisgarh. They will look into the matter of the death of the women during the sterilisation process and make a report.”

The NHRC has issued a notice to the Chhattisgarh government and demanded an explanation on the deaths at a camp in the state’s Bilaspur district.

While, many women have surrendered to death, over 70 women are still hospitalised following botched tubectomy procedures at the camp.

Meanwhile, Dr RK Gupta is a 59-year-old surgeon, who was honoured by the Chhattisgarh government this year in January for accomplishing a massive target on mass sterilisation in the state-run campaign. He has been arrested after he was detained in Baloda Bazar district, on Wednesday.

However, Gupta has claimed that he is innocent and said, "I am innocent. The health of the women deteriorated owing to the sub-standard drugs prescribed to them following the sterilisation surgery.” He has also blamed the government for failing to control the number of people turning up at the sterilisation camp.

He said, “It is up to the administration to decide how many women would be kept for operation.” Justifying his part, he claimed, "If they kept in that place 83 women, it is my moral responsibility to operate (on) all the women. If I decline to do that I would have faced public agitation."

Meanwhile, while there was allegation that the equipments used in the surgeries were rusted, Gupta denied that his equipment was rusty or dirty.

Regarding the allegation that the “rusted equipments” have been used, a team of doctors from AIIMS hospital has reached the place for further probe into the incident.

However, after the incident, the government has taken initiative to ban the bathes of drugs that has been used in the surgeries and all drugs have been sent to a Kolkata laboratory for tests and analysis.

(With inputs from IANS)

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