Varanasi DM sets up medical panel to probe death of Chhannulal Mishra’s daughter

The Varanasi district administration has set up a medical inquiry committee in connection with the death of the elder daughter of celebrated Hindustani classical singer and Padma Vibhushan awardee Chhannulal Mishra — who was also the proposer of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014 LoK Sabha elections. The move followed allegations of medical negligence in her Covid treatment at a private hospital in the district.

According to officials, Mishra’s daughter Sangeeta died during treatment at Medwin Hospital and Research Centre on April 29, while his wife Manorama Devi passed away earlier that week after developing breathing problems. Sangeeta’s elder sister Namrata has levelled allegations of medical negligence against the hospital.

To probe her claim, she has asked the administration to examine the CCTV footage of the hospital, the medication provided to her sister and the bills provided by the hospital for her treatment. It has been informed that the inquiry panel formed by the district magistrate has three medical experts who will look into the matter from all angles.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Varanasi District Magistrate (DM) Kaushal Raj Sharma said that there is not enough merit in the allegations as he himself ensured that Sangeeta got a proper oxygen-ventilator bed for treatment, was continuously checking with the Medwin Hospital about her medical condition and even offered to have her shifted to bigger healthcare facility four days later, after the matter reached PM Modi.

“His daughter Namrata alleged that there was medical negligence by the hospital. While a report has been sent to the DM by the ACP concerned, the latter has set up a medical board to inquire into the matter. Within the next three days, the board will submit a report on the treatment provided. Based on that, we might take action against the hospital concerned,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Kashi Zone Amit Kumar.

“As per reports, Chhannulal’s daughter Sangeeta was admitted to the hospital on April 24 after testing positive for the coronavirus and died on April 29. His wife had died earlier in the month. We have been informed that Namrata had demanded that an inquiry be conducted on the basis of the hospital’s CCTV footage and it should be checked if proper medication was provided to the patient. There is also some issue related to the billing. The inquiry committee formed by the DM will now conduct a thorough investigation,” he said, adding that after Sangeeta’s death, an argument ensued at the hospital and the police had to intervene to calm tempers.

The DM said for the 10 days since the patient was admitted, he had been in touch with the family and had even spoken with Channulal at least four times. “After PM Modi talked to Channulalji, I even offered to shift the patient from Medwin to Shubham Hospital, which is a bigger facility, but Namrata refused, saying they were satisfied with the treatment provided at Medwin. The hospital staff even arranged a video call with the patient around 4-5 days ago. The condition of the patient, however, deteriorated and she was shifted to an ICU bed. Even on the day of her death, the doctors were providing me all the details related to her treatment,” Sharma said.

He added that Medwin is a designated Covid Hospital and has both Level 2 and Level 3 facilities. It has over 50 patients admitted as of now. In 2014, Chhannulal was one of the four proposers of PM Modi during the filing of his nomination from Varanasi. Mishra is a noted exponent of Hindustani classical music from Varanasi.

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