Raipur: Eight women have died in Bilaspur district after undergoing surgery for sterilisation at a government camp organised Saturday at the district hospital, officials said. Besides, the condition of 32 women was said to be serious.

Chief Minister Raman Singh Tuesday visited the hospital and announced compensation of Rs.4 lakh to the kin of each of the eight women who have died and Rs.50,000 for each of those critically ill.

Eighty-three women underwent surgery at the camp organised at Nemichand hospital in Pendari village, 10 km from Bilaspur.

After the laparoscopic surgery Saturday the women were discharged after a few hours. Their condition started deteriorating soon after they reached their respective homes.

Next day, the women started vomiting and when their condition worsened Monday despite treatment by local doctors those affected were taken to the district hospital and Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS).

Two women died Monday morning and by Tuesday morning the toll had climbed to eight. As present, 56 women were admitted in the district hospital, CIMS and Apollo Hospital and the condition of 32 was said to be critical.

Two of the women died due to shock, said R.K. Shukla, the doctor at the district hospital who performed their postmortem examination.

The chief minister, who held a meeting with doctors and officials, announced the setting up of a three-member team to probe the incident.

Earlier, when state Health Minister Amar Agrawal reached CIMS to enquire after the condition of those affected, angry relatives staged protests. He ordered suspension of three doctors R.K. Gupta, K.K. Dhruv, and M. Nikhta for negligence.

Relatives of the dead women, and Congress activists have demanded resignation of the health minister.

Former chief minister Ajit Jogi said: “The health minister should take moral responsibility… the guilty should be booked for murder.”

Chhattisgarh Congress Committee president Bhupesh Baghel said this was not the first such incident. “The attitude of the state government is insensitive,” he added.