Hospital promoter Saswati Das holds out against police grilling on SUM fire

Bhubaneswar police commissioner Saswati Das has not been cooperative with the investigation despite a lookout notice being put out for her.

Published: 22nd October 2016 04:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th December 2016 02:03 PM   |  A+A-

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Union Health Minister JP Nadda meeting the victims of the SUM Hospital fire tradegy at Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. | (Biswanath Swain/EPS)

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Top officials of the fire-ravaged Institute of Medical Sciences [IMS] and SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar and a trust that owns the hospital are being questioned about the blaze on Monday that has so far taken the lives of 26 people.

Further, police are looking at legal options to get Saswati Das, wife of the hospital's principal promoter Manoj Ranjan Nayak, to come forwad to answer their questions on her role in the administration of the hospital.

Bhubaneswar police commissioner Y B Khurania has said Saswati Das has not been cooperative with the investigation despite a lookout notice being put out for her.

Sources said a police team led by a sub-inspector questioned Amit Banerjee, vice-chancellor of Siksha O Anusandhan University, the trust that owns SUM,and Prof D K Roy, the dean of the hospital.

Another team led by deputy commissioner of police Satyabrata Bhoi is interrogating the principal promoter of SUM Hospital, Manoj Ranjan Nayak, who is in two-days' remand, which will end Saturday.

"We want to know whether he was aware that the hospital was blatantly violating the mandatory fire safety protocols," said Bhoi.

Meanwhile,  with the death of another patient undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospital, the toll in connection with the fire has reached 26.

Sources said Kartikeswar Das of GGP Colony in Rasulgarh area was under ventilator support at SUM Hospital when the fire broke out in the intensive care unit. He was first shifted to AIIMS Bhubanwswear and then to Apollo Hospital after his condition became worse.

Khurania said police have received the post-mortem reports of 19 persons who died of asphyxiation while being shifted to nearby hospitals on the fateful evening of October 17.

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