India summons Irish envoy, hopes for independent probe
Voicing concern and angst over the death of Savita Halappanavar, who was denied an abortion by doctors in Ireland, India yesterday summoned Irish Ambassador Feilim McLaughlin and hoped that the inquiry into the incident would be independent.
The Irish envoy was summoned by M Ganapathi, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry. During his meeting, Ganapathi stressed that people in India were unhappy that “a young life had come to an untimely end”.
Halappanavar arrived on October 21 with back pain at Galway University Hospital in Ireland where she was found to be miscarrying at 17 weeks. She died of septicaemia on October 28, as doctors refused to abort her foetus saying “this is a Catholic country”.
Ganapathy expressed the hope that the inquiry would be independent and that the Indian ambassador in Dublin would be kept informed of its progress and outcomes, said the sources.
The Irish envoy assured fullest cooperation. He also indicated that the terms of reference for the inquiry are being framed and would be released shortly. India’s envoy to Ireland will also officially raise New Delhi’s concerns over the death of Halappanavar with the Irish government. The envoy is expected to present facts as they have been given by the family of the deceased, said highly-placed sources in the external affairs ministry.
Halappanavar’s death has sparked an outrage in the country. In an official statement, India said Halappanavar’s “tragic death” in Ireland, after she was denied abortion, was a “matter of concern” and its embassy in Dublin was following the matter closely.