Srinagar: Kashmir Working Journalists Association (KWJA) has rejected the inquiry report of the Health Department into the death of senior journalist Mudasir Ali as “misleading and wanting in facts”.
A KWJA statement issued this morning said the report “appears to be a cover-up for the negligence and shortcomings of the Health Department and its staff rather than an exercise in understanding the facts of the case”.
While Mudasir Ali was denied access to oxygen and other lifesaving drugs at the SDH Chrar-i-Sharief on November 20, the inquiry report, KWJA said, seeks to shift the blame of losing the golden hour towards the family.
“The inquiry report is an attempt to cover up the negligence of the doctor, the administrator of SDH Chrari Sharief, and the Health Department who collectively and miserably failed to save Mudasir Ali’s life on that fateful night,” said KWJA General Secretary Samaan Lateef.
Samaan said the inquiry committee has claimed Mudasir Ali started developing symptoms at around 11:30 p.m., while the fact remains that he was in touch with his colleagues at Greater Kashmir until around 12:30 a.m.
He said that Muddasir Ali even asked his mother to stay back a little longer in his room until he went to sleep at around 1:00 a.m. when he was yet to complain of any problems.
KWJA demanded the inquiry committee to explain how it has concluded that Muddasir Ali developed symptoms at 11:30 p.m.
“KWJA is shocked at the committee’s attempt to falsely blame Mudasir’s family for the loss of ‘golden hour’ while seeking to give clean chit to the Health Department, ” it said.
The committee report says that “all the required gadgets, drugs and equipment needed to manage critical cases at SDH level including stretchers and wheelchairs were found to be available, in plenty and functional” at Chrari Sharief SDH. However, the report does not explain why the facilities were inaccessible to the patient on that fateful night.
“It is a clear admission of lapses but the committee has failed to fix the responsibility,” KWJA said.
KWJA said it will continue to press for fixation of responsibility in the case and would challenge the report at an appropriate forum.
Meanwhile, it asks the government to initiate an independent probe into the death of Mudasir Ali preferably by a committee independent of the Health department officials.