Goa Cong seeks FIR against CM in O2 shortage deaths

Twelve days after filing a First Information Report (FIR) against Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane in connection with deaths of Covid patients earlier this month due to oxygen shortage, state Congress president Girish Chodankar on Friday appealed to the North Goa District SP for registration of the FIR.

In his complaint filed before SP (North Goa) Utkrisht Bansal, Chodankar has alleged that nearly 400 persons have died due to oxygen shortage, on account of negligence and mismanagement on part of the state administration over the last few weeks.

“Despite 12 days of filing police complaint at Agacaim Police Station, police failed to register FIR against CM Pramod Sawant and Health Minister Viswajit Rane for killing innocents, the Goa Congress Party in order to pressurise Goa Government to register FIR against the duo has now approached SP (North Goa) by filing a complaint under section 154 (3) of Code of Criminal Procedure,” Chodankar said.

“This dreadful act is totally unacceptable to the Congress Party and this clearly shows that the BJP that’s ruling the state of Goa today has no value for human life whatsoever, and despite of having the supply of oxygen in abundance as per the CM’s own admission, the Health Minister ruthlessly just allowed a large number of people to die on day-to-day basis, shamelessly citing logistical issues,” Chodankar also said.

The death of nearly 80 patients at the state’s apex health facility, the Goa Medical College near Panaji, due to oxygen shortage in mid-May had triggered shock waves in the state.

The deaths also led the Bombay High Court bench in Goa to intervene in an attempt to streamline the oxygen management procedure at the medical college.

While Health Minister Vishwajit Rane in an interview had initially said that oxygen shortage had led to the death of the patients, the Goa government’s Health Secretary Ravi Dhavan has insisted that the deaths did not occur due to oxygen shortage.

“The Congress party is not going to sit idle over this allowing this to happen to its precious citizens of Goa and our Party is committed to go to the root of the matter and make sure that the guilty are punished severely and the people of Goa get justice,” Chodankar said.