This follows the recent death of a patient at the hospital.

The government has initiated moves to install surveillance cameras for monitoring patients at the Mental Health Centre (MHC), Peroorkada, Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar told the Assembly on Monday.

Replying to a submission moved by K. Muraleedharan on the recent death of a patient at the hospital, he said Rs.20 lakh had been sanctioned for the closed circuit camera network on the premises.

He said the government was considering a proposal to construct more single cells to lodge patients with acute mental problems.

The construction of a new block for the hospital would commence this year. Steps had been taken to appoint adequate number of surgeons, nurses, and security personnel. Mr. Sivakumar said the Director of Health Services had been asked to investigate the patient’s death. “The post-mortem examination had attributed the death to head injuries. The hospital superintendent has been moved out following the incident. Stern action will be taken against those found guilty”.

Moving the submission, Mr. Muraleedharan said the number of isolation cells at the hospital was inadequate. He said the death of a second patient in four months had cast a slur on the institution.

Hijack alarm

Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told the House that the police had not implicated any of the passengers questioned in the hijack alarm incident following the diversion of an Air India flight from Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram in October.

Replying to a submission by K.V.Abdul Khader, he said six passengers had only been questioned by the police on the basis of a complaint filed by the flight commander. He said the passengers had neither been arraigned as accused nor prevented from leaving the country.

Mr. Khader alleged that the passengers had been harassed by the crew of the Air India flight and that false cases had been foisted on them.