Patna Shelter Officials Tried To Hide Deaths Of 2 Inmates, Say Police

Patna shelter deaths: The shelter officials have failed to explain the hurried cremation of one of the inmates and why the police weren't informed

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A woman and a girl, 16, were taken to the hospital, but doctors declared them dead on arrival.

Patna: 

Highlights

  1. The police were not informed about deaths of two inmates
  2. The inmates died of diarrhoea, the officials told the police
  3. Two employees of the shelter are being questioned

Two inmates died at a shelter for women with mental disabilities in Bihar, their postmortem was also conducted at Patna Medical College, but the officials of the state-run facility didn't bother to inform the police. Two days after the police got to know about the incident this morning, a board was constituted to look into the medical histories of the inmates. While the body of one of them has already been cremated, postmortem was reconducted on the second inmate.

The shelter officials have failed to explain the hurried cremation and why the police weren't informed, a senior officer said.

Kumar Ravi, Patna's District Magistrate, said the conduct of NGO running the shelter was far from clean. "There are several questions that no one has been able to answer satisfactorily," he said.

 A 40-year-old woman and a girl, 16, were taken to the hospital on Friday, but the doctors declared them dead on arrival, police said. Over 70 inmates stay at this shelter which opened on May 1.

The police had arrested an employee of the shelter who was helping inmates to escape the facility for women with special needs. The cops were at the shelter on Friday for several hours to investigate his role and motive, but the shelter officials remained tight-lipped about the deaths, police said.

The inmates died of diarrhoea, the officials told the police today. The postmortem report is awaited. The police are questioning two of the employees who were present at the shelter on Friday.

"While the shelter claimed the inmates died during treatment at Patna Medical College, the hospital authorities said they were brought dead. We were informed about the deaths this morning," Deputy Superintendent of Police, Law and Order (Patna), Manoj Kumar Sudhanshu said.

The social welfare department, which had conducted a surprise check on Friday, found several irregularities in its functioning and had recommended that the home be shifted from Rajiv Nagar in Patna. An official has, however, admitted that he was there when the both of them were taken to the hospital.

A 50-year-man, a part-time employee at the shelter, was arrested a day earlier after he allegedly helped some inmates to flee the home.

The incident is expected to make matters worse for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar already under pressure from the opposition following sexual abuse of over 30 girls at a shelter run by a state-funded NGO in Muzaffarpur.

A 13-year-old girl, who was a witness in the Muzaffarpur case and was among the 44 inmates shifted from the shelter to a similar facility in Madhubani, went missing after the scandal led to nationwide outrage.

"This girl knew everything. She was sent from Muzaffarpur to Madhubani shelter run by Sanjay Jha, who is close to Nitish Kumar. If they don't produce her soon, we will protest in Madhubani," the former Bihar deputy chief minister said.

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