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Political Slugfest Over Suicide Near Odisha Assembly; Parties Attack CM Patnaik For Failing to Prevent Incident

A 30-year-old man from Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district who attempted suicide near Odisha Assembly  on September 9 (Image: 
I & PR Department, Odisha
@IPR_Odisha)

A 30-year-old man from Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district who attempted suicide near Odisha Assembly on September 9 (Image: I & PR Department, Odisha @IPR_Odisha)

Both BJP and Congress members while demanding a discussion on the alleged mining irregularities, also raised the suicide issue.

A 30-year-old man from Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district who attempted suicide near Odisha Assembly by consuming pesticide, died at the SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack, the hospital’s Emergency Officer B N Maharana said on Thursday. The incident has sparked a political slugfest with opposition BJP and Congress holding the government responsible for the tragic death of the hapless man who allegedly took the extreme step for not being able to tolerate pain caused due to medical negligence.

The two parties targeted chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who holds the home portfolio and accused the police of failing to prevent the man from committing suicide near Assembly. “How can the police fail to prevent the suicide near the Assembly? Before committing suicide, the man had approached several quarters including the Chief Minister and even sought euthanasia. Still, the government could not help the distressed man," Congress Legisature Party leader Narasingha Mishra said outside the Assembly.

Both BJP and Congress members while demanding a discussion on the alleged mining irregularities, also raised the suicide issue. A BJP delegation led by former minister Manmohan Samal rushed to the victim’s house in Jagatsinghpur and demanded Rs 50 lakh compensation and a job for the widow.

BJP supporters and local villagers also blocked the road connecting Cuttack with Paradip demanding adequate compensation. BJD leader and government chief whip Pramila Mallick, however, rejected opposition allegations and claimed that the man was provided medical treatment. He committed the suicide while gradually recovering from the illness, she said.

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The deceased has been identified as Dusmanta Das, a native of Kujang in Jagatsinghpur. He had allegedly attempted suicide on Wednesday in the state capital by consuming pesticide and slitting his wrist to protest denial of treatment under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BKKY).

Immediately after his death, authorities of the SCB medical college hospital in Cuttack conducted a post-mortem of the body on Wednesday night and his funeral was conducted at the Swargadwar in Puri early on Thursday morning, police sources said.

Das, before being taken to the hospital, had alleged that though he underwent surgeries at the SCB Medical College Hospital after a road accident on March 22 last year, was later discharged from the facility on the plea of COVID-19 situation. “They discharged me even before my recovery," Das said.

He had alleged that the hospital authorities discharged him because he wrote letters to Chief Minister, Governor and Health and Family Welfare department seeking their intervention.

Before taking the extreme step, Das had also sought euthanasia in order to rid himself of the pain he was suffering. He had undergone two surgeries on his injured leg on March 23, 2020 and June 19, 2020.

However, his injured leg did not improve and he continued to suffer. He also alleged that his surgeries could not be fruitful due to negligence of the hospital and the doctor.

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first published:September 09, 2021, 23:09 IST