Probe report on botched sterilisations submitted

RAIPUR: The one-member judicial commission constituted to probe the sterilization deaths in Bilaspur, which claimed 13 lives in November 2014, submitted its report to health department.

Confirming that the report has been received, health secretary Vikas Sheel told TOI that the same would now be put up before the cabinet, which is likely to meet on August 25. He refused to divulge any details of the contents of the report.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the judicial commission has concluded that the deaths were not due to poisonous drug (Ciprofloxin), which was earlier suspected to be the cause behind the tragedy, but due to infections caused during the sterilisation procedures.

If these are indeed the findings of the judicial probe, headed by retired District & Sessions Judge Anita Jha, they are contrary to the report of the five-member inquiry committee, also formed by state government, which claimed that preliminary investigations had not suggested pre-operative and operative procedures as the cause of deaths.

A member of the committee, Dr KC Urao, had earlier told TOI that Brufen (pain killer) and Ciprofloxin (antibiotic) given to patients, post surgery, could have caused complications. Incidentally, this was also confirmed with tests done on a dozen drug samples seized in Bilaspur by an approved national laboratory, which stated that the medicines used at the sterilization centre were substandard, but not toxic.