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Odisha infant deaths: Agitating Congress women arrested

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 3:

Commissionerate police today took several women workers of Odisha Congress into preventive custody while they were marching towards Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence to protest against the infant deaths in a government-run hospital since a fortnight.

OST Photo
OST Photo

Hundreds of Mahila Congress members took out a rally from the Congress office near Master Canteen square to gherao Naveen Nivas demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak holding them responsible for the infant deaths at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Pediatrics (SVPPGIP), also known as Sishu Bhawan, in Cuttack. The members of the women’s wing of Odisha Congreess alleged that the government has failed miserably to bring the infant deaths under control which has continued unabated for over a fortnight.

However, they were prevented from moving ahead and taken into custody by the Commissionerate police at Sishu Bhawan square here.

“The Sishu Bhawan at Cuttack has turned into a deathtrap for infants. We demand the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. If he is not able to control the situation, why is he clinging on to the post? He must resign immediately,” an activist said.

“Women from every household would take to streets and fight against the Naveen Patnaik government to oust him as Chief Minister. They have arrested even minors and shoved them into the van. They are killers of innocent babies. We won’t ever forgive them,” another woman Congress activist said.

“This is a statewide agitation. It is against the inefficiency of the Naveen Patnaik government and an outburst against the increasing crimes against women in temples, ashrams, mutts, burglaries and dacoities. I thank the women for taking out such a huge rally,” senior Congress leader Suresh Routray said.

A day earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers had demonstrated in front of all 314 blocks in the state, besides the state capital to protest against the serial infant death in Cuttack Sishu Bhavan and demanded the resignation of the Health minister.