07/22/2021, 13.57
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Nuns-run hospital devastated after wounded man dies

by Nirmala Carvalho

A crowd of 30 people stormed the small hospital run by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Mokama, terrorising patients. The violence was triggered by the failure to revive a 40-year-old man taken to the facility after he was shot and wounded.

Patna (AsiaNews) – The Nazareth Hospital in Mokama, in the Indian state of Bihar, was devastated by an angry mob after the death of a patient.

On 15 July, in the evening, a group of 30 people ransacked the small health facility ran by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. The only functioning ward had 11 patients that day.

The hospital offers only medical outpatient and in-patient services along with outpatient obstetrics and gynaecology, plus an advanced physiotherapy ward.

A nun present at the time, Sister Aruna Kerketta, was beaten as she tried to inform the administration of what was happening.

Making matters worse, the local police stood idly by without taking action.

The violence was triggered by the death of Pankaj Kumar Singh, a 40-year-old man who was shot riding a motorbike on his way home.

He was taken to the nuns' hospital with his rescuers shouting to get everything ready and call a doctor.

When the doctor realised the man was dead, they continued to argue that it was not true and that he needed to be revived. Then they started thrashing the facility, terrorising the nurses and patients.

“This incident saddens me a lot,” said Archbishop Sebastian Kallupura of Patna speaking to AsiaNews. “These Sisters serve the poor,” he explained.

The nuns bear “witness to a true missionary spirit, working tirelessly for the people, especially women and children, without discrimination. I pray for the hospital staff and also for those who committed this atrocity.”

This is not the first episode of violence at the hospital. In 1979 Fr Francis Martinsek, a US Jesuit missionary who served as chaplain, was shot by people unknown. He eventually died from his wounds.

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