Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Oct 26:
Manoj Nayak’s wife Saswati Das and his sister Arati Nayak-all trustees of Siksha O Anusandhan Charitable Trust which runs Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital today moved the Orissa High Court seeking anticipatory bail to avoid possible arrest in SUM Hospital fire case, reports said.
It may be noted here that the Twin City Commissionerate Police had issued lookout circular against Manoj Nayak and his wife Saswati Das.
While Manoj was arrested on October 20 after he surrendered at the Khandagiri police station, Saswati was yet to appear before the police.
Manoj’s bail plea is slated for hearing at the Additional District Judge-II Court for tomorrow as it could not be taken up for hearing on Tuesday as the police failed to submit the case diary in the matter. The Court has also asked the latter to produce the post-mortem report of those killed in the fire at the hospital.
Earlier in the day private technical and professional institutions in the state decided to close their colleges for a day on Thursday as a mark of protest against Manoj’s arrest.
Binod Dash, secretary of the Odisha Private Engineering College Association (OPECA) accusing the Naveen Patnaik government of acting in a partisan manner objected to the haste with which Manoj was arrested before an inquiry was conducted into the incident.
The association said the regulatory authorities of the government like DMET, fire safety and the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) should also be held responsible for the fire tragedy as they all failed in their responsibilities to ensure safety compliance in hospitals. Their officers should have been arrested too, Binod said while addressing a media conference here and demanded unconditional release of Manoj.
He pointed out that while only four out of 540 clinical establishments have valid fire safety and occupancy certificates action against only one private hospital was unjust.
Binod said the OPECA believed that promoters of a hospital cannot be held responsible for looking after all aspects of the institution they run adding that qualified people have been appointed to look after various tasks.
Notably, 19 patients had died due to asphyxiation and over a hundred injured in a major fire that had broken out at the SUM Hospital on Monday last week. With relocated patients succumbing at other hospitals the toll due to the mishap reached 28 yesterday.