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NHRC issues notice to Odisha Govt over SMU Hospital fire incident
The National Human Rights Commission has issued notice to the Government of Odisha through its Chief Secretary over SMU Hospital fire incident.
The NHRC did this after taking suo motu cognizance of media reports that due to suspected short circuit, the major fire broke out at the Bhubaneswar hospital which killed at least 22 persons.

Reportedly, the hospital in question was warned as early as in 2013 for not keeping the safety measures but the hospital authorities ignored it. In Odisha, out of 568 hospitals, only 3 have clearance of the department of fire safety.

The NHRC has asked the authorities concerned to submit a detailed report in the matter within six weeks including the relief and rehabilitation granted to the next of Kin of the deceased and the injured.

The human rights body also asked the Chief Secretary to inform about the steps/ precautions taken or proposed to be taken by the State Government to prevent recurrence of such mishaps.

The Commission has observed that callous attitude and lapses of the authorities, if any, amount to violation of right to life of the patients. It has expressed shock over how the State authorities allowed such a large number of hospitals to function without proper fire safety clearance. 

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