The dean and the head of the paediatrics department of a government hospital in Maharashtra’s Nanded district were booked on Wednesday for the deaths of a woman and her newborn child, reported The Indian Express.

The hospital, Dr Shankarao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital, recently witnessed the deaths of 31 patients, including 16 children, within two days. The dean, Dr SR Wakode, has blamed a shortage in manpower and medicines as well as a sudden surge in patients for the deaths.

Wakode and the paediatrics department have been booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

The first information report was lodged on a complaint by Kamaji Mohan Tompe, the father of the 22-year-old woman Anjali Manchek Waghmare, who died on Wednesday. Waghmare’s infant died on Monday.

Waghmare was admitted to the hospital on September 30 and delivered the baby the next day, reported the Hindustan Times. Her family was first told that there were no complications in the delivery. But, later the doctors informed the family that Waghmare was bleeding heavily and the infant’s condition was deteriorating, Tompe said in his complaint.

He said that the family arranged medicines and blood but the doctors and staff were not available to attend to his daughter and the child.

“I was made to wait for a long time,” Tombe said. “No doctor or staff was sent to the patient. When I followed up on the matter with Dr Wakode, I was abused and thrown out. I was not even allowed to meet my daughter and her newborn.”

Tombe said that if her daughter and the infant were treated on time, they would have been alive. “We spent Rs 45,000 on medicines too,” he added.

Waghmare’s brother Nagnath Tompe told The Indian Express that his family was not told the reasons for the deaths. “Doctors just said that child died due to contaminated water in her mouth, while Anjali died of excessive bleeding,” he said. “We had brought 14-15 packets of blood, but still, my sister could not be saved.”

Nagnath Tompe also told the newspaper that the family did not inform Waghmare about the newborn’s death fearing that her condition might deteriorate. “We thought this would have left a bad impact on her health,” he added. “But, during treatment, she too died today.”

The infant was among the 16 children and 15 adults who died between September 30 and October 2. The hospital records 10 to 14 deaths a day on average.

A six-member committee set up to investigate the deaths has pointed to at a lack of resources and manpower at the hospital, reported the Hindustan Times. The Bombay High Court, which took cognisance of the matter, said on Wednesday that deaths due to a shortage of staff and medicines cannot go on.

Also read: Shiv Sena MP booked for making Nanded hospital dean clean toilets