Inquiry to be launched over death of Villingili boy

Parliament's Human Rights and Gender Committee convenes for a meeting on January 21, 2024. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Parliament’s Human Rights and Gender Committee, on Sunday, has decided to launch an inquiry into the death of a young boy from GA. Villingili following delays in his transfer from Vilingili to Male’ for further treatment, and in this trajectory, summoned the heads of the relevant authorities to the Committee.

Following Saturday’s incident, the Committee convened a meeting on Sunday despite the parliament being in recess. Members of the Committee who attended the meeting alleged negligence by relevant authorities in the death.

In this regard, Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina said the strained relations between the Maldivian government and India is adversely impacting the Maldivian citizens. She went on to criticize the stoppage of the use of Dornier aircraft and the two helicopters donated by India.

Therewith, she emphasized her belief that it was also important to summon Defense Minister Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon and Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer to the Committee to be questioned.

Members who attended the meeting also called to summon the management of Aasandha Company Limited.

Villingili MP Saud Hussain participated in Sunday’s Committee meeting as an observer. Sharing his concerns with the Committee, MP Saud described the devasting incident as a common occurrence as of recent.

“A government’s highest responsibility is undertaking all efforts to save the lives of the citizens of the respective nation,” he added.

MP Saud said action, in an emergency situation, was significantly delayed despite the boy’s condition becoming critical following which Villingili residents had also staged a project.

He also accused the government of purposefully not utilizing emergency resources available.

Concluding Sunday’s meeting, Committee’s Chairperson, Hinnavaru MP Jeehan Mahmood decided that the committee will launch a special inquiry into the death and in this trajectory, summon the senior officials of responsible authorities.

Jeehan said the next course of action if India’s Dornier aircraft is not used will be identified and whether such was implemented in this particular case will be inquired.

The family of the 13-year-old boy raised concern over the delay in his transfer from Vilingili to Male’. Two days later, on Saturday, he died at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

The hospital declined to specify the cause of death.

Aasandha, in a statement, said Villingili Hospital requested emergency evacuation of the boy at 5:03am on Thursday; a request which Aasandha said its Medical Section processed and approved within 12 minutes following which the company instructed to seek a flight to transport the boy at 5:19am.