In a shocking incident reported at the Muttuck Tea Estate in Dibrugarh district of Assam, a child declared dead woke up minutes before its burial and died a few hours later.
Police in Lahowal arrested a compounder of the hospital of the tea garden on Monday for allegedly declaring the child dead without proper verification and in absence of a doctor.
“The sick child, a boy aged less than one year, was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead by the compounder. The doctor of the hospital was absent at that time,” said Hrishikesh Hazarika, in-charge, Lahowal police station.
“But when the family was about to bury the child, it started moving. It was then rushed to Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH), where it was declared brought dead on arrival,” he added.
Following the incident, dozens of tea garden workers started protesting against the hospital and demanded stringent action against the compounder for declaring a living child dead.
“Maybe the child would have survived if the compounder hadn’t declared him dead and the parents had enough time to take him to a bigger hospital. We have lodged an FIR and arrested the compounder Gautam Mitra as he is not authorized to pronounce anyone dead,” said Hazarika.
Amid the drama, there was panic among patients and their relatives at AMCH in Dibrugarh on Sunday night due to a fire at the hospital’s maternity and obstetric section.
Due to the fire, electricity supply to some parts of the hospital remained affected for a few hours and patients had to be shifted out for safety.
Though there were allegations that a newborn child admitted at the ICU unit for babies had died due to disruption in power supply, senior police officials have ruled that out.
“The parents had initially alleged that the death was due to disruption of power following the fire. But when records were checked it was revealed that the child had died prior to the fire incident,” said Prateek Thube, superintendent of police, Dibrugarh.