Indian woman death: Ireland probes begin

Expressing "concern" over the circumstances in which an Indian woman dentist died in Ireland, India on Thursday regretted the death and said that it is waiting for the results of two inquiries ordered by the Irish authorities in the matter.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said here on Thursday, "We deeply regret the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar. The death of an Indian national in such circumstances is a matter of concern. Our Embassy in Dublin is following the matter closely." Akbaruddin said the MEA has conveyed its sympathies to the family of the deceased. "We understand that the Irish authorities have initiated two inquiries. We are awaiting the results of these inquiries and we will take it from there," he said.

Halappanavar, 31, died in Ireland due to blood poisoning after doctors allegedly refused to terminate her 17-week-long pregnancy, telling her that "this is a Catholic country".

Terming the death a "terrible tragedy", the Irish Embassy, said in a statement, "An investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mrs Halappanavar's death has been ordered by the Health authorities in Ireland and the investigation team, which will include independent external expertise, will be liaising with Mrs Halappanavar's family. The Irish Prime Minister and the Minister for Health spoke on the matter in Irish Parliament yesterday and expressed their deepest condolences to the husband and family of Mrs Halappanavar.

The Embassy wishes to express its sympathies to the family at this very difficult time." It added that "the Irish government, at the highest level, is committed to establishing the full circumstances and facts surrounding Mrs Halappanavar's tragic death".

Savita's husband Praveen Halappanavar, an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, told the Irish media that his wife had asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. This was refused, he said, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told "this is a Catholic country".

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