A man leaving with a dead child, at BRD Medical College. Pix: ABP News
Lucknow, Aug. 12 (Agencies): The Uttar Pradesh government said stringent action will be taken against those found guilty in deaths of 36 children at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home turf.
“Whosoever is found guilty in the tragic and painful incident at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur will certainly face stringent action,” Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya told reporters here today.
Initial reports had said that the children had died when a private contractor stopped oxygen supplies after the hospital failed to clear bills adding up to nearly Rs 70 lakh despite several reminders.
Chief medical superintendent R.S. Shukla denied that the deaths were caused by an oxygen shortage. Shukla said at least ten children had died of encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, while the rest had died from “delivery-related issues”.
However, ABP News reported on Saturday that the hospital authorities had written to the government, including the district magistrate, about the oxygen shortage.
ABP News said a district magistrate usually has a contingency bill of Rs 80-100 crore, and clearing the supplier’s bill should not have been a problem.
In Delhi, the Congress said Adityanath and his health minister, Siddharth Nath Singh, should resign taking “moral responsibility”.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari also demanded strict action against those responsible for the deaths.
”There are clearly two dimensions to it, that of criminal culpability of all those who are responsible -- the hospital administration, the oxygen supplier and the district administration which is supposed to exercise superintendence over the hospital, and the other is the moral responsibility of the chief minister.
“While all those responsible must be charged with criminal culpability accounting to murder,...there is a moral dimension which the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and his health minister must take responsibility for and resign immediately,” Tiwari said.
Taking a swipe at the health minister, the Congress leader tweeted, “UP Health Minister only seeks votes in Lal Bahadur Shastri ji's name -he doesn't follow Shastri ji's high morals in politics... Shastri ji resigned taking moral responsibility for railway accident,