One month after Rashmi Ranjan Suna, a PhD scholar from the University of Hyderabad (UoH), died of multiple organ failure after he was diagnosed with dengue, a seven-member committee formed by the varsity administration is yet to submit its final report on the incident.
Suna, a native of Kalahandi in Odisha, had visited the University Health Centre on November 19, complaining of fever and two incidents of vomiting. He was later referred and shifted to the Himagiri hospital in the city where his health condition worsened. Soon, he was shifted to another private hospital, Citizens Hospital, where he succumbed to his condition due to multiple organ failure on November 25.
Just earlier this week, the UoH Students’ Union shot off a letter to the administration, condemning the delay in submitting their report.
“On behalf of the entire students’ community, we are expressing our dissent towards the performance of the inquiry committee for Rashmi Ranjan Suna’s death. According to the UGC guidelines, any grievance committee should submit their report within 15 days of its formation,” the letter dated December 21, states.
Pointing out that the committee report has already gone past its deadline, the letter adds, “We urge the committee to give its report as soon as possible. In strong terms, we condemn the committee for failing to deliver justice for Rashmi Ranjan Suna and further delay will result in consequences from the Students’ Union.”
Meanwhile, the university said that it just needed to compile the report.
“We have a meeting in the next couple of days to finalise the report. We had called for inputs from various stakeholders. Whatever testimonies and evidences we have received, we just need to reconcile all of it and frame the report,” Vinod Pavarala, spokesperson of UoH, who is also a member of the committee, told the Times of India.
In a press release following Rashmi’s death, the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) had said, “It is a moral responsibility of the university to provide a compensation to Rashmi’s family of Rs 25,00,000. We demand legal action from the university administration against the utter medical negligence shown.”
“Why did the doctor at the health centre adamantly refer Suna to the Himagiri hospital despite his friend’s request to refer him to another hospital? We demand a complete enquiry and action against the incompetent doctors at our health centre,” the release added.
In its initial response, the university had blamed the first private hospital that the student was admitted in, and held it responsible for his death.
“Patient was not properly evaluated and managed at the first private hospital before he was shifted to the second hospital. Hence, the University Health Centre and the students request to take appropriate action on Himagiri Hospital,” Dr K V Prasad, the medical officer on duty, said in a letter at the time. However, the findings of the final report remain to be seen.