Koraput/Bhubaneswar: A day after the SCB Medical College Hospital submitted its report on Padma Shree awardee Kamala Pujari being allegedly ‘forced to dance’ by a social worker during her discharge from the health facility, the Koraput district administration Monday issued notices to two persons for personal appearance. The notices were issued to social worker Mamata Behera and the official attendant Rajeeb Hial to personally appear before the sub-collector Jeypore at 10 am Tuesday and register their response in connection to the row that erupted over Kamala Pujari (72) being ‘forced to dance’ inside the ICU of SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack.
The incident came to the fore after a video of Pujari being ‘forced to dance’ allegedly by Behera went viral August 29. “Notices have been issued and their statement will be recorded. Necessary action will be taken once we get their response to the allegations,” said Debabar Pradhan, sub-collector, Jeypore.
Earlier, a committee formed by SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack to probe the incident submitted its report. The panel headed by medicine department HOD Prof Jayant Panda observed that Kamala Pujari was kept in a special cabin in the hospital’s ICU.
The woman who allegedly forced her to dance introduced herself as Kamala Pujari’s friend to the hospital staff in the presence of the Padma Shree winner and her attendants, the report said. It added that for this reason she was allowed to stay in the special cabin.
Stating that the hospital administration was unaware of the incident (forced dance) that took place inside the cabin, the panel report said: “It is not possible for us to keep a watch inside the cabin except for a patient’s medical needs.”
The committee headed by Prof Panda also had Administrative Officer Abinash Rout and Prof BK Behera as members.
The incident has created a state-wide hue and cry with the Paraja tribe, to which Kamala belongs, and the Bhumia tribe strongly condemning the incident. They demanded action against the culprit otherwise the tribals may go for agitation.
The Koraput district unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) on Monday also submitted a memorandum to the district administration demanding swift action on the matter.
“I was not feeling well and was forced to dance. I repeatedly denied, but she did not listen. I was sick and tired after the dance,” Pujari had told mediapersons after her return to home at Patraput under Jeypore block in Koraput district.
Pujari, who was admitted to the district headquarters hospital (DHH) at Jeypore in the district for fever and loose motion was shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack August 24 after her condition deteriorated. She was discharged from the hospital August 29 after recovering from the illness and had reached home the next day.
Pujari, a resident of Patraput village had received the Padma Shree award in 2019 for her contribution to the field of agriculture.