NEW DELHI: The insensitivity of hospital staff towards patients in rural areas hit a new low when a nurse kicked and slapped a pregnant woman as she went into labour, causing both the mother and baby to die after delivery in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.

Debjani Singh (25) from Kainsali village was admitted into the district hospital in Baripada town. The doctor was off duty when she was brought to the hospital on Sunday and she was asked to wait till next day, and in the meanwhile was made to sleep in the floor, deceased’s sister-in-law, Astami Singh told in the FIR.

Singh told that when the pregnant woman went into labour at 2 AM the nurse was called by an ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) worker, Vishakha Mahanta, who had accompanied Debanjani Singh to the hospital.

When the pregnant woman screamed in pain she was allegedly abused by the nurse Chanchala Das, and who got furious when there was a delay in bringing her to the labour room. It’s then that she kicked her and slapped her with a chappal.

“The nurse verbally abused Debjani and me and called us uncivilised. She spread out a bed sheet and forced her to lie on the floor,” ASHA worker told media.

Next day Debanjani delivered a stillborn baby, and later died herself too.

In the FIR, the sister in law of the deceased also told that even after the mother and child were killed because of the gross negligence of the hospital staff, they demanded money to remove the body from its premises. The enraged relatives and family members protested outside the hospital and demanded strictest action against the nurse and others.

The nurse has been suspended since, as per Baripada sub-collector, Routrey Singh, and an investigation has been ordered into the matter.