Probe ordered after 15 lose eyesight at camp



The Punjab government Friday ordered a probe into the free eye check-up camp that left 15 people from Amritsar district without eyesight.

The state government also announced interim relief of Rs.1 lakh to each of the affected families, whose members have lost eyesight in the tragedy.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Friday ordered a high level probe into the Ghuman medical camp tragedy in the Gurdaspur district.

Officials in Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts said that the number of patients whose eyesight was affected could go up.

Badal has asked the Principal Secretary Health Vinnie Mahajan to personally conduct inquiry into all the aspects of the incident.

"He directed Mahajan to rush to the site of tragedy for an on-spot assessment of the tragedy and for supervising and expediting relief to the victims and their families," Badal's adviser Harcharan Bains said.

"The chief minister has also announced an interim relief of Rs.1 lakh to each of the affected families, whose members have lost eyesight in the tragedy. Announcing free medical treatment for all the victims of the tragedy, Badal has directed that all the patients should be re-examined for fresh treatment at the government level," Bains said.

At least 15 people lost their eyesight after undergoing cataract operation at a charitable hospital following a free eye check-up conducted by an NGO in Punjab's Gurdaspur district, about 250 km from here.

Enquiries are being made about the NGO, which is based in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. Sources said that the team of doctors, who operated upon the eye patients, were mostly from Mathura. One doctor was from Jalandhar.

The people who lost their eyesight were all aged above 60 years. They were admitted to the Government Medical College hospital, Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat said.

All of them belong to Gago Mahal village in Ajnala sub-division of Amritsar district.

Bhagat said 50-60 people were checked at the eye camp. The cataract operation was conducted recently at a charitable hospital in Ghuman village in Gurdaspur district.

The administration came to know about the incident after some affected villagers complained to the Amritsar deputy commissioner Thursday.

He said the doctors at the medical college said it will take up to one week to know if the eyesight of the affected people can be saved. - IANS