Kargil brave­heart’s widow dies as hos­pi­tal in­sists on Aad­haar card

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE - AGEN­CIES

Widow of a Kargil brave­heart died at a pri­vate hos­pi­tal in Haryana's Soni­pat af­ter the med­i­cal staff al­legedly re­fused to ad­mit her for not car­ry­ing her Aad­haar card, forc­ing the state gov­ern­ment to or­der an in­quiry into the mat­ter on Satur­day. Talk­ing to me­dia at Am­bala, Health Min­is­ter Anil Vij said a team of health depart­ment has been sent to Soni­pat to col­lect the de­tails of the in­ci­dent. "Shakun­tala Devi (55), widow of Kargil war mar­tyr Haval­dar Lax­man Dass, died on Thurs­day for want of med­i­cal care at a pri­vate hos­pi­tal as it in­sisted on hav­ing the pa­tient's Aad­haar card," her son Pawan Ku­mar Balyan said over the phone. Balyan, a res­i­dent of Mahlana vil­lage in Soni­pat, said his mother was suf­fer­ing from a heart prob­lem. "I took her to the Ex-ser­vice­men Con­trib­u­tory Health Scheme (ECHS) Hos­pi­tal in Soni­pat and got the re­fer­ral slip for Tulip Hos­pi­tal on Thurs­day," he said. "At the hos­pi­tal counter, au­thor­i­ties asked me to give the Aad­haar card of my ail­ing mother so that she could be ad­mit­ted for treat­ment. I told them that I have for­got­ten it and will get it soon from my home, and re­quested them to start treat­ment. But they in­sisted on pro­vid­ing the Aad­haar card," Balyan said.

"Af­ter about half-an-hour of ar­gu­ment with the hos­pi­tal au­thor­i­ties, I de­cided to leave the place with my mother," he said, ad­ding that the hos­pi­tal au­thor­i­ties also called up po­lice who asked me not to cre­ate a scene in the hos­pi­tal premises.

"I brought back my mother to ECHS Soni­pat where she died the same evening," Balyan said. "I have given a writ­ten com­plaint about the mat­ter to ECHS au­thor­i­ties who vis­ited my house from Am­bala," he said.

Mean­while, Ab­hi­manyu Ku­mar of Tulip Mul­tispe­cial­ity Hos­pi­tal, Soni­pat, said they in­sist on Aad­haar cards, but de­nied al­le­ga­tions that they were not ready to ad­mit Devi. "We wanted to treat the woman, but her fam­ily mem­bers de­cided to take her away," he said. Po­lice­man Srikr­is­han, who was at the spot when the in­ci­dent took place, said the hos­pi­tal au­thor­i­ties had re­quested Balyan to get the ail­ing woman ad­mit­ted. "Balyan seemed up­set by the at­ti­tude shown to him by the hos­pi­tal staff and pre­ferred to leave with his mother," he said.

Shakun­tala Devi was the wife of Haval­dar Lax­man Dass who was posted with the 8th Jat Reg­i­ment in Muskoh val­ley near Kargil. He died of bul­let in­juries dur­ing a gun bat­tle with in­trud­ers on June 9, 1999.

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