Bhandara fire incident: Lukewarm response to bandh called by BJP, say police

The BJP, however, has claimed that the response was total in the whole district.

The BJP call for ‘Bhandara bandh’ against inaction by the state government against authorities at Bhandara’s district hospital, where ten newborns died in a fire at the sick neonatal care unit (SNCU) on January 9, received a lukewarm response, as per police.

The BJP, however, has claimed that the response was total in the whole district. Bhandara-Gondia MP Sunil Mendhe told The Indian Express, “The district observed total bandh on Monday. We demanded that the government should immediately suspend the civil surgeon and in-charge doctors at the hospital before proceeding with the inquiry. But the government hasn’t done that. Hence, we called for the bandh.”

Bhandara Superintendent of Police Vasant Jadhav said, “The bandh received a sporadic response and was peaceful.”

Asked if a complaint was registered in the fire incident, Jadhav said, “We are awaiting an inquiry report. Offences will be registered after that.”

State Women and Child Development Minister Yashomati Thakur visited the hospital on Monday. Asked why she could not visit immediately after the incident, Thakur said, “My mother is ill and in hospital. So, I needed to stay back to be with her. That’s why I couldn’t rush here.”

She added, “But today, I met two of the affected families. I think it’s a tragedy where grief can’t be expressed in words. They have suffered trauma and we need to help them, not only physically and financially, but also for counselling. If need be, we would even send counsellors from Nagpur to help them overcome the trauma.”

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