16November2018

Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Fisher Lady Death Row: Lt. Governor Meets Aggrieved Fishers

While Expressing His Sympathy To The Bereaved, LG Warns of Consequences If Law & Order Is Disrupted

Port Blair, Dec. 10: The death of Punyawathi, 35, a fisher lady on 3rd Dec. 2013 at GB Pant Hospital, Port Blair created a fury among the fishermen community of Andamans. Aggrieved by the death of the community member after a surgery for Appendix, the fishers unable to decide, took law in their hands and tried to damage the govt. property. Later on 4th Dec. 2013 a huge gathering of fishers organised a protest in front of the Directorate of Health Services, A&N Administration and near the Secretariat, demanding compensation of Rs. 5 Lakhs, Job for the daughter of the deceased and a well documented PME by a medical board including doctors from INHS Dhanwantri.

While the Administration had considered addressing the issue, the Hon’ble Lt. Governor, Lt. Gen. (Retd) AK Singh who was out of station had condoled the sad demise of Punyawathi and ordered an inquiry into the matter by Shri P. Jawahar, Deputy Commissioner (SA) to ascertain any lapse or lapses on the part of the Authorities, including the doctors and in case, there has been any lapse, appropriate action to be taken.

In this regard, the Hon’ble Lt. Governor today personally met the bereaved family of the deceased at Raj Niwas, Port Blair and expressed his sympathy on the untoward incident that took place. After having heard their sorrow, the Lt. Governor on companionate grounds offered an Ex-gratia relief of Rs. 1 Lakh to the daughter of the deceased, Miss. V. Swathi, a student of Class XII in Govt. SSS Haddo (Telugu). The amount will be fixed deposited in her name, as was agreed by the other family members. Late Punyawathi, W/o Joga Rao has three daughters out of which two are married. The eldest daughter Smti. Kumari took the responsibility to look after her sister Swathi till the time she is independent.

The LG also assured that the Administration will look after the schooling of Swathi and once she completes her education, she will be offered a post of DRM. The Lt. Governor further assured that the Administration will also prepare her further to get a permanent job in the Administration but at the same time, he made it clear and loud that there is no provision under the Administration to provide employment in such cases. The present case in which a post of DRM is offered is purely on sympathetic grounds.

 

Meanwhile, Lt. Governor AK Singh had interacted with the leaders of the fishers, who had come to Raj Niwas and told them that the enquiry report on the issue and PME has been received. The Administration will be acting on the report received, he said.

While sympathising with the fishermen, the Lt. Governor made it clear that there will be no decision on the basis of ‘agitation’. Such cases are decided on merit basis, he cleared. He also expressed his unhappiness on the incident wherein the aggrieved fishers went to the extent of taking Law in their hands and warned them not to get instigated by miscreants. 

At the same time, hearing from the fishermen that they are being looked down upon by the Health Staff for hailing from the fisher families, the Lt. Governor AK Singh warned the Health Department and instructed that proper counselling be organised for the Doctors and Health Workers. He also issued directions to the Fisheries Department to address the grievances of the Fishermen and said, “The responsibility of the Fisheries department is not only towards the govt. but it also includes welfare of the fishermen”. He called upon the departments to look at such cases with empathy to resolve issues and grievances.

During today’s meeting, apart from the Administration’s officials, Shri B. Hemaraju, Secretary Fishermen Welfare Association, A&N Islands and Smti P. Bharathi, Councillor Ward No. 8 were present. Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma, President PCC was also present.