Patna Shelter Home Controversy; Two Women Dead Due to Medical Negligence

Two inmates of women's shelter in Patna dead possibly due to medical negligence on Sunday.

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Patna: The ongoing shelter home sexual abuse controversy in Bihar continues to snowball as a young woman aged 17 and another aged 35 were reported dead under suspicious condition on Sunday. Both were residents of the same shelter for girls and women in Patna that was raided by the police just a few days ago.

Seventeen-year-old Poonam Kumari and 35-year-old Babli were brought to the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) after developing some sort of physical complication, however, both were declared dead on arrival by the hospital staff.

Patna District Magistrate (DM) Ravi Kumar and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Manu Maharaj visited the home to take stock of the situation and took Baby Kumari, the lady who had brought the two women to the hospital, into custody for interrogation.

According to the PMCH Superintendent Dr. Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, while one appeared to be suffering from infection of the lungs, the other was said to be suffering from fever and acute stomach ache.

The victims had been residents of Aasra Home in Rajiv Nagar in Patna that is run by Anumaya Human Resource Foundation, an NGO accredited by the Social Welfare Department of the Bihar government.

Roughly 75 girls and women, some with serious mental disabilities, make this place their home.

Authorities are looking into the case from medical negligence angle saying both women had been sick for quite some time but the shelter denied them early medical treatment that could have saved their lives.

District Child Protection Deputy Director Dilip Kamat told the police that he visited the shelter home on Friday when he found out the victims were sick and had to be taken to the hospital. However, no one took them to the hospital and their condition eventually worsened resulting in their death on Sunday.

As reported earlier, only last Friday police had raided the premises and had arrested a 50-year old man on charges of inappropriately touching young girls while trying to lure them into escaping from the home by promising to 'show them a better life'.

A high-level probe has been launched in the case, SSP Manu Maharaj said.

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