independent

Friday 31 October 2014

Indian community struggling to come to terms with death

PAUL DEERING

Published 27/11/2012 | 10:41

Indian Association of Sligo members, Lijo James, Chinnipa Reddy, Luis Esteves, Ninan Thomas, Antony Lobo and Sonal Nair at the recent vigil for Savita Halappanavar

SLIGO'S Indian community is still stunned over the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar and are fully supportive of her husband's call for an independent enquiry to be established.

Spokesperson Ninan Thomas told The Sligo Champion: "We're completely in shock.

"We want to know the truth like everyone else in this country.

"We're also very angry that in the 21st Century that a woman died in a hospital in Galway after it had been established her baby would not survive."

Seventeen week pregnant Mrs. Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated but this was refused he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, "this is a Catholic country".

Mr. Thomas said the Indian community in Sligo strongly felt that the life of Mrs. Halappanavar could have been saved and have backed her husband's refusal to co-operate with a HSE led enquiry.

"We understand the reasons why he has no faith in this enquiry and fully back his call for a public one," said Mr. Thomas.

He said that while he was unsure if Mrs. Halappanavar ever visited Sligo he was aware she had friends here some of whom were also natives of Belgaum in the Karnataka region of southwest India.

Mr. Thomas revealed that on Sunday December 9th, the Indian Association in Sligo will hold a silent prayer in Savita's memory prior to a Festival of Lights celebration at the Gillooly Hall from 3pm to 7pm.

Last Saturday, members of the association attended at a candle lit vigil in Sligo's O'Connell Street.

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