Villagers clash over medical treatment of woman, 10 injured


Jajpur (Orissa) : At least 10 people were injured, two seriously, in Orissa's Jajpur district when pro and anti- industry groups clashed over the treatment meted out to a pregnant tribal woman in a government hospital.

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Parbati Badra, a tribal woman of Baligotha village in Kalinga Nagar – an emerging steel hub, was admitted to a government health centre at Danagadi village, some 120 km from state capital Bhubaneswar for delivery on Saturday.

However, she was asked by a staff nurse at the hospital to cough up Rs.1,000 as bribe. She refused to pay up and was allegedly not provided proper care during the delivery Sunday.

The nurse also allegedly misbehaved with the woman and her family members.

As Parbati is a relative of Rabindra Jarika, noted tribal leader and general secretary of the Vistapan Virodhi Jan Manch (VVJM) group, which is agitating against an upcoming TATA steel plant, some activists of the group took up the matter with the district administration.

Meanwhile, the nurse, anticipating trouble, had taken help from people in favour of the industry to counter them.

When district sub-collector Susanta Kumar Mahanty arrived at Danagadi hospital Tuesday afternoon to inquire into the incident, pro- and anti- industry groups clashed in the hospital premises in his presence.

Both groups have lodged complaints with the local police. No one has yet been arrested.