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10 killed, 8 injured in road mishap

At least 10 people, including two women, were killed and eight others injured when a jeep collided with a truck in Odisha’s Sambalpur district, police said on Tuesday.

The jeep carrying 18 persons was returning to Belpahar and Kanika areas from Hirakud late on Monday night when the mishap struck at Gurupali on Sambalpur-Rourkela State Highway No 10.

While seven persons died on the spot, three others succumbed to injuries at hospital.

Two of the injured were admitted to VSS Medical College Hospital at Burla and the rest given medical treatment at Rengali hospital.

The victims belonged to four Muslim families of Belpahar area in Jharsuguda district and adjoining Kanika in Sundargarh district.

They were way back home after a visit to Hirakud when the collision took place, police said. The truck was impounded while its driver fled.

First death from sun stroke in Sambalpur district

The effect of temperature is rising day by day.  A woman died coming under the grip of intense heat of summer yesterday at Jujumura Block of District. It is being told the first death from heat stroke in Sambalpur district. Today after the autopsy, dead body has been handed over to his family.

The incident took place at Dangrpadha village of Jujumura block under Sambalpur district. It has been reported that on forenoon of Monday a 45 year old lady Bijili Seul, wife of Vipin Seul had gone to his farm for picking mahua & when she returned to home her condition was worsened. Then after few minute she was unconscious.   Thereafter Bijili was immediately admitted to nearest Padiabahal primary health centre for medical treatment. By seeing that there is no improvement in Bijili’s Health condition, she was transferred to Burla Medical Hospital, where at seven in the evening the Bijili passed away under treatment.

Strike by nurses for regular jobs hits healthcare in state

Healthcare services were partially affected in government hospitals, mainly in the three government-run medical colleges, on Tuesday with contractual nursing staff across the state going on mass leave. They congregated in Bhubaneswar and took out a protest rally demanding regular appointment.

Sources said routine indoor services were affected in all three medical colleges though they managed to render emergency services. Capital Hospital in the state capital, which has 70 contractual nurses, deployed nursing supervisors and auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) to face the nurses’ shortage. “The dozen-odd supervisory staff also cooperated by discharging nursing duty and working overtime. While some nurses from Unit IV hospital were deployed in Capital Hospital, ANMs were pulled from field duty and were positioned in the Capital Hospital,” said chief medical officer Sudarshan Das.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post-Graduate Institute of Paediatrics, better known as Sishu Bhawan, in Cuttack was the worst affected. “Nobody is around even to change drips of my son,” said a woman in Sishu Bhawan. Sishu Bhawan authorities conceded that the strike had a great impact on child care. “We had a bad time managing the nursing care of children due to the strike of contractual staff,” said Dr Hiranya Mohanty, superintendent of Sishu Bhawan, which has around 72 contractual nurses.

SCB Medical College and Hospital authorities said the strike had a minimal impact on their services though. “We had made alternative arrangement to deal with the situation. Nursing and pharmacy students studying at SCB were roped in,” said Dr B N Moharana, emergency officer of  SCB hospital, where a substantial 430 nursing staff are contractual, compared to just 260 regular nurses.

VSS Medical College and Hospital, Burla, and MKCG Medical College, Berhampur, where around 250 nurses each are contractual and 100 each are regular staff, pulled all strings to manage the day. “Since it was just for a day, we managed by re-distributing regular staff. Emergency services were not affected,” said VSS principal Dr Santosh Kumar Behera.

Over 100 nurses from Burla attended the Bhubaneswar rally, said Lalita Nikhandia, a member of  All Odisha Contractual Nurses Association (AOCNA). The agitating nurses took out a rally from near Ram Mandir to Lower PMG in Bhubaneswar. “Our demands have been pending before the government for years, but nothing has been done,” said AOCNA general secretary Jayanti Sahoo. “Even though we don’t want patients to suffer because of the strike, we had no option but to take recourse to this step,” she said.

AOCNA president Sibani Das said the government must abolish the contractual appointment of nurses and regularize those engaged on contract. “Around 3,000 posts of nurses are lying vacant though the Union government is giving aid to recruit nurses on the ratio of one for four patients,” she pointed out. Around 2,000 nurses are working on contract against a regular nursing staff of less than 1,000 in the state. The contractual nurses employed under various schemes get a monthly salary of Rs 5,200 to Rs 9,300.

Road accident claims three lives in Sambalpur

Three youths in the age group of 22-28 years were killed when the motorbike in which they were travelling in dashed against a standing truck at Rampela toll gate near here, the police said today.

The deceased were identified as Rajesh Patel, Pankaj Nayak and Ramakanta Mahakud. While Patel and Nayak died on the spot last night, Mahakud died of his injuries at VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla today, police said.

While police seized the truck, it recovered one pistol, a mouzer and a live bullet near the accident site.

“We are probing into the matter relating to fire arms,” the local police said adding that one of the deceased youth Patel had recently returned here after quitting the job of a security guard at New Delhi.

Upper caste people torch Dalit houses

At least 30 houses of Dalits were torched by the upper caste community at Lathor village in Balangir district on Sunday night, following a clash between the two groups over a petty issue.

The situation had escalated beyond control, with people so incensed that they even torched the fire-fighting vehicle that was brought in to extinguish the fire. No media persons were allowed to enter the village. The situation was brought under control only after the deployment of armed police late in the night.

The victims were given shelter in a local high school after they were rescued by police. A shop owner, who was injured seriously in the incident, was shifted to VSS Medical college hospital of Burla on Monday. Police arrested 42 villagers.Four platoons of police were deployed in the village apprehending further untoward incident.

Police sources said four youths from Dalit basti in the village, under Khaprakhol police station, had gone to one Laxmi cloth store on Sunday evening to purchase some cloth. The shop owner Jaydev Meher, along with his two sons Daya and Bharat, reportedly had an altercation with the boys over the purchase, in which one of the Dalit boys was assaulted. The Dalit community took it seriously and decided to teach a lesson to the shop owner for assaulting a boy of their community. “The situation went out of control when the Dalits came in a group and attacked Bharat Meher, who was seriously injured and admitted to Khaprakhol hospital,” said a senior resident of the village.

According to him, the upper caste people then convened a meeting and marched towards Dalit basti at night. They torched the houses of the basti and within a short span the entire basti was ablaze. “We did not get time to save our belongings. We started running towards jungles to save our lives,” said a resident of the basti.

“We have deployed armed policemen and arrested 42 villagers. Now the situation is under control,” said SDPO (Patnagarh) Laxmi Narayan Panda. According to him, about 193 victims were rescued by police, which includes 33 boys and 85 women, all of whom were given shelter in a local high school.

Markets and business establishments remained closed in the village on Monday.