The Gorakhpur tragedy and its aftermath

Death of children: Gorakhpur medical college principal resigns after suspension

R.K. Mishra, Principal of Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur was suspended for “negligence” on Saturday after 30 children died in the hospital allegedly without oxygen as the contractor ceased supply over dues.

Dr. Mishra was suspended with immediate effect for his “irresponsible behaviour”, said Uttar Pradesh Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon in Gorakhpur.

Hours later, Mr. Mishra resigned from the post citing “moral grounds”. In his resignation letter, Mr. Mishra acknowledged that he was “hurt” by the death of children in ward number 100, but distanced himself from the culpability. “There was no fault or negligence on my part in the death of children in the encephalitis ward. I am resigning on moral grounds,” he said.

Probe ordered

Mr. Tandon, who along with U.P. Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh, took stock of the situation in the hospital, ordered a “high-level” investigation by the Principal Secretary to ascertain why there was a delay in the payment of the dealer’s dues and why the oxygen supply in the hospital was disrupted.

Mr. Tandon said that the oxygen suppliers claimed they had written to the Principal on August 1 for payment of their dues, after which the Health Department dispatched the amount to the college on August 5. The administration, however, said it received the amount on August 7, Mr. Tandon said, adding that the supplier then claimed to have received the funds only on August 11, the day the deaths happened.

The U.P. government is also under fire as the incident was reported just two days after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inspected the hospital during his visit to Gorakhpur, his Lok Sabha constituency.

Mr. Singh said though Mr. Adityanath discussed various issues in detail on August 9 during his visit, the officials in the 950-bed hospital did not refer to the important issue of oxygen supply during the meeting. “Yogiji had come here. But nobody referred to the important issue of gas supply,” Mr. Singh said.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 5:25:15 AM |

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