The tragic deaths of eight women and hospitalisation of scores more due to sterilization surgeries performed on them in a mass sterilization camp in Bilaspur is a shocking indictment of the health system in Chattisgarh and also of the Government policy to continue the highly undemocratic target based population control programmes.

The suspension of three doctors is insufficient. The camp was held in the constituency of the state’s Health Minister. It is he who is accountable. He must take the responsibility and resign.

It is unfortunate that in spite of evidence that coercive target based population control policies have a most negative impact on the rights of poor women, several Governments like Chattisgarh continue with such policies.

It is essential for the Central Government to reiterate the policy decision taken by the UPA-1 Government rejecting target based coercive population control policies.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) condoles the tragic death of the women and demands higher compensation.