In yet another shocking incident, 36 children have lost their lives at the BRD Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur, hometown of Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, reported CNNNews18.
61 children have died at the hospital in the last 72 hours, reported Hindustan Times adding that 11 children had died in the encephalitis ward, 25 in neonatal intensive care unit (NNICU) and another 25 in the general pediatric ward.
PK Singh,Principal BRD Medical College, told news agency ANI that 42 children had died in 48 hours of which 7 were due to encephalitis while the rest due to ‘other reasons.’
This comes just days after more than 100 children were massacred at the same hospital due to the administration negligence as the liquid oxygen supply was stopped. The state’s BJP government had come under flak, but the Adityanath went about doing his normal business by paying more attention in Janmashthami celebrations than taking measures to ensure there is no repeat of such horror.
The state government had later commissioned a probe, head by the Chief Secretary, who reports to the chief minister. The chief secretary had found seven officers guilty of dereliction of duty recommending FIRs be filed against them.
Meanwhile, former principal of the government- run BRD medical college in Gorakhpur Rajiv Mishra and his wife were today taken into custody by Uttar Pradesh’s Special Task Force (STF) for questioning in connection with the death of more than 1000 children within a span of 48 hours at the hospital.
According to SSP, Gorakhpur, Anirudh Sidhartha Pankaj, a police team last night also went to the home of Dr Kafeel Khan, the former nodal officer of 100-bed acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) ward in the hospital who was removed after the child deaths, to quiz him but he was not there.
Mishra and his medico wife Purnima Shukla, who are named in an FIR lodged by the UP government, were picked up from Kanpur, where they had reportedly gone to consult a lawyer.
“The STF team then left for Gorakhpur to carry out further interrogation there,” Pankaj told PTI in Gorakhpur.
Mishra had been suspended as principal of the college on August 12 after the deaths were reported and the same day he resigned owning moral responsibility for the incident, which acquired a political hue with the government drawing flak from the opposition.