Again in the news for wrong reason
The Mental Healthcare Centre, Peroorkada, is once again in the news for a wrong reason. If it was the death of Satnam Singh that brought infamy some three months ago, this time it is the death of Venkateshappa, a 60-year-old man hailing from Andhra Pradesh that has come as a poser to the reputation of the institution.
If the staff of the hospital were accused in the death of Satnam, unconfirmed reports say that Venkateshappa lost his life in an attack by an inmate.
It was stated in the report submitted by the superintendent of the Mental Healthcare Centre Dr G Sunilkumar that Sureshbabu, who was housed in the same cell of Venkateshappa, beaten up the latter causing his death. The report was submitted to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, the District Collector and the City Police Commissioner. But Dr Sunilkumar declined to comment on the report.
The DYFI activists blocked the hospital superintendent around 2 pm and insisted that they would leave only after Health Minister V S Sivakumar turns up. However, they left after two hours announcing that an agitation would be staged in front of the Assembly on Monday.
Meanwhile, CPM leaders M Vijayakumar, P K Sreemathi and V Sivankutty visited the hospital by 3 pm. They held discussions with the hospital superintendent and later blamed the government’s lethargy which results in such untoward incidents.
Sreemathi, while talking to media persons, said that the hospital was witnessing incidents of human rights violations for quite sometime. Vijayakumar said that such incidents were unfortunate while Sivankutty called for a high-level probe to sort out the issues in the hospital.
The body of Venkateshappa was subjected to re-postmortem the other day as the earlier postmortem was not conducted according to procedure. RDO Mohammed Mustafa told ‘Express’ that when a person under judicial custody dies the postmortem had to be conducted in the presence of an executive magistrate or judicial magistrate. But in this case it was not done accordingly. But the authorities are waiting for the result of forensic test to assess the cause of death.
Venkateshappa was admitted to the hospital on November 30 by the Kilimannoor police who found him in a wandering state in front of shop. According to the police he was not mentally stable while taking into custody. He was found dead on December 4.
Satnam Singh was found in a battered condition inside the hospital in August and four hospital staff were accused in the case. His death triggered a row of controversies and the doctors of the hospital started a non-cooperation strike for taking action against the doctor who was on duty at the time of Satnam’s death.
The hospital superintendent said that the shortage of staff was affecting the smooth functioning of the hospital.
There are as many as 44 vacancies in the hospital, including that of attendants and security staff.