By: Soumadip Dey
Claim: A story has been doing the rounds on social media claiming that an infant was burnt to death due to negligence at Srinagar’s G.B Pant hospital.
What Happened: A news story is being shared on social media that a girl child was burnt to death in Srinagar’s G B Pant hospital due to the negligence of hospital staff. The news claims that the baby was killed by burn injuries caused by a heat blower kept very close to her body. This news has been published in quite a few regional news outlets like GreaterKashmir and KashmirReader as well as by NDTV and UNI.
While the news outlets maintained that the family has accused the hospital of negligence, the narrative shifted slightly on social media, with a number of people condemning the hospital and the staff for their inaction on Twitter as well Facebook.
The news received further attention when the former Chief Minister and president of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti tweeted a statement condemning the ‘horrific incident‘, calling for ‘an exemplary punishment’ for those responsible for the incident.
Facts: The way this incident has been portrayed does not appear to be completely true. While the news of an infant being burnt to death at a hospital was shared widely by social media users, it completely missed the hospital’s side of the incident. According to a news report, the baby was suffering from a disease that led to her death. Dr Kawarjeet Singh, the Medical Superintendent at the hospital, said that “the baby was terminally ill and suffering from a rare disorder called disseminated intravascular coagulation, which resulted in blood clot in vessels. The baby didn’t receive any burns but the marks were due to the disorder,”
The medical chart of the infant also lists the different conditions that the child was suffering from. According to medical research, the mortality rate in cases of DIC is quite high.
Conclusion: The death of anyone, particularly an infant, is always sad news. However, in this situation, the way social media users jumped to a conclusion and blamed the hospital authorities for the death is more than a little unfortunate. A number of people condemned the doctors and staff working at the hospital and asked for their punishment without going through the whole story, or waiting to see what the hospital said. This can create an air of mistrust, and sharing such content without proper verification leads to the spread of online rumors which can, in turn, trigger violent law and order situations. Always check such inflammatory news with multiple news sources or a reputed fact-checker before jumping to conclusions.