Bhubaneswar: SUM Hospital Chairman Manoj Nayak arrested

The fire broke out on Monday at the dialysis ward on the hospital’s first floor.

Manoj Ranjan Nayak, Chairman of Sikshya O Anusandhan Charitable Trust that runs the Sum Hospital where 21 people were killed in a fire mishap, was on Thursday arrested in Bhubaneshwar.

He surrendered before police at the Khandagiri Police Station at about 3.30 AM. He was taken to an undisclosed destination where the police officers were interrogating him. Five people have so far been arrested in connection with the fire tragedy.

“Manoj Nayak surrenders at Khandagiri Police Station. He is arrested and under interrogation,” Commissioner of Police, YB Khurania told reporters.

A Look Out Circular in the name of Nayak and Saswati Das, both trustees of the charitable trust had been issued on Wednesday. The police had informed all the airports and railway stations to ensure that Nayak and his wife Saswati do not escape from the state capital.

The Ministry of Home affairs was also apprised about the police action in this regard. “We may go for more arrest of people during the course of investigation,” he said.

The notice was issued after Union Health Minister JP Nadda made it clear to the state government that those responsible for the fire tragedy should not go scot free.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also assured the state that all the guilty persons would be taken to task.

Two days ago, the police had arrested four senior officials including the medical superintendent of Sum Hospital Pushparaj Samantasinghar. They were booked under section 304. 308, 285 and 34 of IPC.

The four officials were arrested on the basis of an FIR lodged by the state government’s fire service department. A case was registered against the authorities of Sum Hospital which has been accused of overlooking a 2013 advisory of state government to improve its firefighting mechanism. The hospital does not possess a fire safety certificate.

The fire broke out on Monday at the dialysis ward on the hospital’s first floor. In no time, the flames spread to the nearby intensive care unit (ICU) ward on the same floor. It is suspected that the incident occurred due to short circuit.

It was also revealed that the hospital had lost its accreditation two months ago with the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers. The hospital administration was also functioning without a fire-safety clearance certificate after 2013, with a mock drill finding out that the personnel employed were not efficiently trained.