Savita: Contrasting reactions from India

There have been mixed reactions in India to the death of Savita Halappanavar, who died following a miscarriage at University Hospital Galway.

It has been reported that the 31-year-old dentist was repeatedly refused a medical termination.

The India Times' online edition asked "Are Ireland's Catholic Abortion Laws responsible for Savita's death?"

The media outlet went on to call the Irish Government "religious fundamentalists" over their delay in replacing the "draconian law that bans abortion".

The paper posed the question "Isn't Ireland a first world country?" and wondered if the Government was listening to the people of Ireland's wishes.

They then said "Isn't there a word for countries that base their laws on religion irrespective of common sense and the value of human life... what's the word: Fundamentalist? Taliban-esque? Third World?"

The Times of India focused on the political fallout from the tragedy.

Its report today mentioned Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore's meeting with the Indian ambassador to Ireland, Debashish Chakravarti, due later today.

They went on to report that India's external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said: "It is extremely sad and unfortunate. Whatever the inquiry does, human loss cannot be compensated."

The newspaper also carried an Embassy of Ireland statement that said: "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 Irish government, at the highest level, is committed to establishing the full circumstances and facts surrounding Mrs Halappanavar's tragic death."

The HSE has said it is in the process of appointing an independent expert to oversee the work of its inquiry into Savita's death.

The review team, and its terms of reference, are expected to be announced later.

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