Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress and BJP on Monday stepped up their agitation demanding resignation of Health Minister Damodar Rout over the deaths of nine new born babies at the VSS Medical College Hospital even as the state government termed the incident as "coincidental."
"There was no negligence on the part of doctors and para-medical staff attending the special new born care unit at VSS Medical College Hospital at Burla," Rout said, quoting the report of the team of experts which probed the cause of the deaths of the nine babies within 24 hours.
The babies had died between Friday and Saturday morning at the SNCU of the VSS hospital, prompting Odisha government to order an inquiry.
The three-member inquiry team headed by SM Bag, the Director, Medical Education and Training, met the doctors, nurses and attendants of the SNCU yesterday to record their statements before submitting its report.
However, alleging that negligence led to death of nine babies, the Congress today called a 24-hour Burla Bandh paralysing life in the medical college town.
They demanded resignation of the health minister and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on moral ground.
BJP activists on the other hand, staged demonstration in front of the revenue divisional commissioner, northern division, at Sambalpur and demanded stringent action against the culprits responsible for the death of the babies.
The BJP workers also demonstrated in front of the official residence of the health minister in Bhubaneswar.
"The death of the new born babies is not a case of accident, rather result of the inaction and carelessness of the government," state BJP president KV Singhdeo said.
Denying the allegations, Rout said "It was coincidental that the nine babies died within a specific time frame. All of them were brought to the hospital in critical condition."