HSE report was a whitewash, say Savita Halappanavar’s parents
Parents tell of their grief and why they believe justice has not been done
He says Irish people are “very, very lovely” and “very open and kind”.
“We do not believe the Irish people want a law that doesn’t save women. We love the Irish people,” he says.
Although the inquest completed its work on April 17th and the HSE inquiry chaired by Prof Sabaratnam Arulkumaran published its report on June 13th, the report from the State’s independent health watchdog, the Health, Information and Quality Authority, is not expected until the autumn.
His family has had no contact, he says, from the Irish Government and they would have appreciated contact (although Minister for Health James Reilly and the HSE are liaising with Praveen’s solicitor). “The Indian government, though, is in touch every day. They are asking us what we want to do. Savita’s husband advises us that we must wait for all the inquiries to finish and then we will decide. The Indian government says they will support us any way they can when we decide. If it is necessary to come to Ireland we will, but I don’t want to. The memories of Savita would make it too hard for us,” he says.
Savita’s mother, whom she called “Momma”, sits beside Mr Yalagi, interjecting on occasion in the local dialect Kananda. Several times she wipes her eyes as she speaks to local journalist Ravi Uppar, who is with us, telling him some of her memories of Savita.
“She was always so close to us. When she was here in Belgaum, she was always with me. The only time she wasn’t was when she was in college. When she was in Ireland every day, at 9 o’clock every evening she would be on Skype. It was like she was not gone away at all,” she smiles.
‘Now she is gone’
Later she gets tea and comes back with hundred of photos of Savita – as a baby, when she was a toddler, dancing in school competitions, at dental college, on family holidays, birthdays, on a trip to Mumbai with her best friend, holiday snaps with Praveen and, of most pride, the wedding album. “Savita was so happy that day marrying Praveen. We knew Praveen was a very kind, very lovely man and that he would take good care of our Savita,” says Mr Yalagi. “Now she is gone . . . we cannot bear our future.”
Savita’s body now lies in the quiet Kalmath graveyard, about a 10-minute drive from her home.