Vishaka, who always wished to be a doctor, is apprehensive about her future as she is still an accused in the case, charged with culpable homicide. "It wasn't my fault that a fire started in the ward and so many people died," she said.
Vishaka Shinde, the 27-year-old medical student who spent 10 days in jail after her arrest in connection to the Ahmednagar district hospital fire case, rejoined work this Monday. Working at the hospital will never be the same again, she said.
Vishaka, a second-year postgraduation medical student, was suspended within 10 hours of the fire along with Ahmednagar Civil Surgeon Dr Sunil Pokharna and Medical Officer Dr Suresh Dhakne. On November 9, she was arrested along with three nurses under sections 304 (culpable homicide) and 304A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC.
Though the government revoked her suspension on November 10, she had to spend 10 days in jail until she got bail on November 19.
Her father, retired school teacher Rajendra Popat Shinde, said the incident has changed his daughter who was known for her jovial nature. “The harassment she faced has left a life-long impact on her. She hardly talks to anyone. She refuses to talk about the incident, so we are giving her the space to recover from the trauma,” he added.
While Vishaka returned to duty at the hospital on Monday, on her request, she has been stationed at her own department — the orthopedic ward, which is on the ground floor adjacent to the Covid-19 hospital building.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Vishaka said her colleagues have been helping her to cope. In fact, to assist her parents financially to fight the legal battle, the hospital staffers have raised funds.
“I am still not ready to talk about the incident. It brings back all the trauma I went through… It pushes me into a mental breakdown,” she said.
Vishaka, who always wished to be a doctor, is apprehensive about her future as she is still an accused in the case, charged with culpable homicide. “It wasn’t my fault that a fire started in the ward and so many people died,” she said.
Last month, Rajendra and the medical fraternity had claimed that Vishaka was made a scapegoat to save government officials for their negligence in not equipping the hospital with adequate fire prevention system.
“I just hope that my daughter is strong enough to fight this and finds herself again. I wish no father has to watch his daughter in such a situation,” said Rajendra.
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