With thirteen women dead and 122 still in hospitals following the failed sterilizations in different government camps of Bilaspur, Health Minister Amar Agarwal said ‘tragedies do take place in health sector’.
In reply to the question on why Chief Minister Raman Singh was shielding him, the health minster said, “Tragedies do take place in health sector. The Chief Minister knows that it was a tragedy. Why would he remove me for a tragedy? You should rather appreciate that cabinet has good coordination.”
Government sources said several senior ministers want Agarwal to be removed and are annoyed that Singh is unable to even reprimand him in public. Despite all opposition, Singh has shielded his health minister and some cabinet ministers believe that it has damaged the image of the state. “The chief minister must act now. The removal of a block medical officer or a doctor makes no sense. Public has become angry with us,” said a minister.
Congress spokesperson SN Trivedi said: “Raman Singh must disclose the reasons that why he continue to praise Amar Agarwal, in whose district this crime took place.”
Earlier in the day, protests against the Chhattisgarh government over the failed laparoscopic tubectomies of Bilaspur intensified as youths held a massive protest outside the official residence of Health Minister Amar Agarwal in Raipur on Monday and demanded his resignation.
Calling Agarwal and Chief Minister Raman Singh “murderers”, the protesters accused the government of not taking sufficient action against the guilty. Agarwal’s residence is adjacent to Raipur IG office, still the protesters managed to gherao the premises.
Meanwhile, doctors association has sought the release of Dr RK Gupta, who had conducted the operations in Takhatpur, and has given an ultimatum to the state government that if he is not released doctors of the state would go on a strike on November 28. They have already met Singh in this regard.
Suspended Takhatpur Block Medical Officer today met Health Secretary Alok Shukla and said that he had done no wrong and demanded that his suspension be revoked.
Protests were also witnessed in other parts of the state where people held candle marches and asked the government to take swift action.
with PTI inputs