Home India News 10 children die at Hyderabad hospital, agitating doctors arrested

10 children die at Hyderabad hospital, agitating doctors arrested


Hyderabad : Agitating doctors of a state-run hospital here were arrested Monday evening as 10 children died allegedly due to lack of medical attention after the doctors went on a flash strike demanding suspension of a legislator for attacking them.

After a day-long wait for doctors of the Niloufer Children’s Hospital to call off their sit-in at Nampally main road in the heart of the city, the police swung into action and took more than 150 doctors to a police station. They were later released on bail.

The doctors went on a flash strike Sunday night demanding that the police file an attempt-to-murder case against Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) legislator Afsar Khan. Some women doctors alleged that the legislator and his supporters had assaulted them, and demanded that he be booked for outraging the modesty of women.

The doctors had continued the stir despite the government assuring them of a probe into the incident and proper security arrangements at the hospital.

The parents of the 10 dead children alleged that the deaths occurred due to lack of medical care. The condition of several other children is stated to be critical.

However, Hyderabad district collector Chandravadan denied that any child died due to lack of medical aid. “Many children are brought to the hospital in serious condition and they may have died,” he said.

Senior doctors from other hospitals are being called to attend to patients at Niloufer Hospital, he said.

The scene at the hospital was heart-rending with mothers of the dead children wailing over the bodies. The angry parents of the seriously ill kids clashed with security personnel and staff members of the hospital. They even tried to gherao the hospital superintendent. Those who could afford treatment in private hospitals hurriedly moved their children away.

The striking doctors, joined by counterparts from other government-run hospitals in the city, Sunday night tried to march to the assembly building to demand the MIM legislator’s suspension when the police stopped them. The nightlong sit-in by the protesters at Nampally main road threw traffic out of gear.

According to the doctors, the trouble began on Sunday when Junaid Khan, an MIM activist, admitted to the hospital his one-year-old daughter who was suffering from respiratory problems. Angry over the alleged delay in treatment to the baby, Junaid and his relatives reportedly created a ruckus. The police arrested Junaid on a complaint from the doctors.

Afsar Khan, on learning about the detention of Junaid, went to the hospital and asked the doctors to withdraw the case. When the doctors refused, he and his supporters started abusing them and reportedly manhandled them.

The legislator and one of his supporters were arrested late Sunday night but later released on bail. Afsar Khan was also involved in the attack on Bangladeshi author Tasleema Nasreen at a function here in August.

The legislator, who was booked for assault, criminal intimidation and outraging the modesty of women, denied that he and his supporters attacked any doctors. He said they were only trying to persuade the doctors to withdraw a case against the MIM worker.

Minister for Medical Services Galla Aruna Kumari and Minister for Labour Mukesh Goud held three rounds of talks with the protesting doctors to urge them to call off their strike, but they remained adamant.

The doctors were demanding that a case of attempt to murder be booked against Afsar Khan and he be suspended from the assembly.

Terming the incident as “unfortunate”, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had earlier said the law would take its own course against those involved in the attack on doctors. He also held a high-level meeting to review the medical services at Niloufer and other hospitals.