The Gorakhpur tragedy and its aftermath

Congress calls Gorakhpur deaths ‘murder’, asks Yogi Adityanath to step down

Terming the deaths of a large number of children in a Gorakhpur hospital in the last few days as “murder”, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar demanded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s resignation on Sunday.

“Seventy children were murdered in the last four days (since August 10). The State government is responsible for their murder. This government is a killer and I want to ask how many more children will be killed,” Mr. Babbar told reporters in Lucknow. “When a Chief Minister is unable to handle a medical college in his home district, how will he run the state? He should immediately resign from his post.”

Demanding a compensation of Rs 1-crore each for the victim’s parents, he said a case of murder should be lodged against those who are guilty.

Meanwhile, the deaths of children in the UP town kept trending on twitter, with many seeking to know why Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who tweets on tragedies across the world – was silent on this.

The Congress – which took out a protest march in Meerut in western UP – is planning a state-wide campaign on the issue.

“Who will decide it was death or murder? The entire focus of the government is on cow slaughter, singing of Vande Matram, where the flag is being hoisted on August 15,” Mr. Babbar said. “The chief minister had visited the hospital, but he was not aware about the oxygen crisis. The CM has constituted a probe committee but the government has already said that deaths were not due to shortage of oxygen. Then why a probe?”

BSP chief Mayawati accused the state government of seeking to absolve itself, saying, “By making the college principal a scapegoat, the state government is trying to absolve itself of all responsibility.”

The CPI (M) Polit Bureau on its part issued a statement, condemning the “gross negligence” of the UP government and demanding a judicial enquiry into the deaths.

“The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the gross negligence of the UP State Government and authorities of public health that has led to the death of 63 children so far due to the shortage of oxygen supply. This is impermissible,” the statement said. “The CPI(M) Polit Bureau demands a high level judicial enquiry be instituted to establish the culpability, beginning with the Chief Minister and the state government, followed by stringent punishment of the guilty.”

Hitting out at the state government’s argument that poor sanitation and civic conditions were behind the deaths, the CPI (M) said this spoke volumes about the Centre’s Swachh Bharat campaign and Mr. Adityanath’s work as Gorakhpur MP.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 10:29:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-calls-gorakhpur-deaths-murder-asks-yogi-adityanath-to-step-down/article19486408.ece

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