Jharkhand: Muslim Woman Alleges Mistreatment, Communal Slurs in Hospital, Loses Child

New Delhi: A Muslim woman from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, who was pregnant and bleeding, has alleged mistreatment and abuse by a staff member of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College and Hospital, better known as MGM hospital.

Rizawana Khatoon, a resident of the city’s Mango locality, has claimed that on Thursday, she was beaten up by a staff member of the hospital and called names because of her religion. She has also alleged that she was asked to clean her own blood that had spilled over the floor of the hospital and accused of spreading the novel coronavirus. Owing to the mistreatment and abuse, she had to seek treatment in a private hospital, losing her child in the process.

In a letter addressed to the chief minister of the state, Khatoon has said, “I was abused by a hospital staff (whom I can recognise if CCTV footage is provided) on the lines of my religion and was asked to wipe the blood. I could not because I was shivering.”

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She has further alleged, “I was beaten up with slippers. I was shocked and rushed to a nursing home, there they told me that my child had died.” Claiming that she lost her child due to negligence and callousness of the hospital staff, she wrote to the chief minister saying, “I can say with confidence that if I was properly treated by the hospital staff I would not have lost my child.”

MGM Hospital. Photo: tatanagar.com

According to media reports, the state police has taken cognisance of the incident and asked the city’s senior superintendent of police (SSP) to inquire into the matter. Speaking to The Wire, city SSP Anoop Birathe said, “I have come to know through social media that something like that has been alleged. But we are yet to receive any formal complaint from anyone in this regard.”

However, he confirmed that a three-member inquiry committee has been constituted by the district administration. The team includes the deputy superintendent of MGM Hospital, senior magistrate of the district administration and one police officer of the concerned (Sakchi) police station.

Speaking to The Wire, Mohammad Shameem, Rizwana’s husband, said that his brother-in-law (Munir) has been called by the local police to enquire about it. It was Munir who accompanied Rizwana to the hospital when she was bleeding. Reiterating the allegations made in the letter, Shameem said, “The behaviour of the hospital staff was totally callous and instead of treating the patient and looking after her, when she needed the care, they did nothing and left her crying despite pleading.”

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Demanding justice and prosecution of the culprits, Shameem, an auto driver, said that if those responsible are not punished, incidents like these could occur again. “We want punishment for the culprits so that something  like this does not happen to anyone else in the future.”

According to him, Rizwana is not in a position to talk to anyone and is traumatised – because she lost her child, and because of the way she was mistreated and manhandled.