The 15-year-old burn victim of Kendrapara succumbed on Thursday night. Though the doctors announced her death at 11.45 pm, her father claimed that she died much earlier while being taken from SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack to Bhubaneswar airport.
A team of SCB Hospital accompanied the girl to Bhubaneswar to catch a flight at 9 pm. But they came to Capital Hospital without boarding the plane and admitted the girl in ICU with all the officials remaining tight-lipped about her condition.
While the victim’s parents claimed that their daughter had breathed her last on way to the airport, the Capital Hospital authorities refrained from making any statement. As pressure mounted from opposition political parties who converged at the hospital, it was only around 11.45 pm that the doctors made a formal declaration that the girl had perished.
High drama prevailed as Samir Bairagi, the girl’s father, accused that he was abandoned at the airport by the SCB Medical team after he pointed out that his daughter had passed away.
The victim, a Class VIII student who was set ablaze by two youths on July 28 in her village Khairnashi under Mahakalapada police limits, was to be admitted into Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi. She had suffered 70 per cent burn injuries.
“Since she was not moving, I pointed out that my daughter may need oxygen but the doctor asked me to stay calm. When we reached the airport at about 7.30 pm, I confronted the doctor but was asked to get down from the ambulance. They left me at the airport and headed for Capital Hospital without informing me,” Bairagi said.
As news of her condition spread, the Capital Hospital authorities made a vanishing act with leaders of various political parties making a beeline and mediapersons trooping in to cover the incident. With the situation getting out of hand, a posse of policemen swung into action and stood guard at the ICU preventing anyone from going inside or making any queries.
The Mahila Morcha members of Bharatiya Janata Party, who were the first to reach the hospital, demanded that doctors to make an announcement. President of Pradesh Congress Committee Jayadev Jena, accompanied by party members, also arrived and sought to know the status of the victim. Soon after, Kendrapara MP from ruling Biju Janata Dal Baijayant Panda also reached the hospital to anti-party slogans.
With chaos prevailing in the hospital, the doctors turned up at about 11.45 pm and formally announced the death of the girl bringing an end to the three-hour-long drama.