Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 4:
Saswati Das and Arati Ranjana Nayak, both Trustees of Siksha O Anusandhan Charitable Trust that runs the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here, today sought a time of 15 days to appear before police in connection with the fire mishap at the hospital which has so far claimed 29 lives.
Citing health grounds, the duo sought the time from Khandagiri police through their advocate, sources said.
Saswati and Arati had yesterday failed to appear before the police citing illness.
While Saswati is the wife of Manoj Nayak, another Trustee who was arrested and later released on bail, Arati is Manoj’s sister.
It is worthwhile to mention here that the Twin City Commissionerate police had issued summons to Saswati and Arati on October 27 to appear before it within seven days in connection with the SUM Hospital blaze. Earlier, the police had issued lookout circular against Saswati.
Notably, following Manoj’s arrest, Saswati and Arati apprehending arrest had moved the Orissa High Court on October 26 seeking anticipatory bail.
It may be recalled here that 19 patients undergoing treatment at the SUM Hospital had died due to asphyxiation owing to the massive fire on October 17 which originated from the dialysis ward on the first floor and spread to the ICU on the same floor. In the incident, over 100 others sustained injuries and were shifted to various government and private hospitals.
Later, the death toll increased gradually to 29 with more relocated patients succumbing at different hospitals.