Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday had to face people’s protest outside the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) at Muzaffarpur where he had gone to take stock of the situation following the death of over 100 children due to suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).
A group, comprising relatives of the children and villagers, gathered outside the government hospital shouted “ Nitish Kumar wapas jao” (Nitish Kumar go back) while waving black flags at him.
A large number of policemen were deployed at the hospital gate to control the protesters.
Earlier, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan , his junior in the Cabinet, Ashwani Kumar Choubey, and State Health Minister Mangal Pandey too had to face a protest at the hospital.
After an hour’s meeting with doctors, officials and health department officials, Mr. Kumar left the hospital without speaking to the media.
On Monday, soon after coming from Delhi, Mr. Kumar held a meeting with top State and Health Department officials at his official residence 1, Anne Marg in Patna and directed that several measures be taken to save the lives of children.
He directed officials to visit the villages where the children had died to record their social and medical history.
Mr. Kumar had also announced an ex-gratia of ₹4 lakh to the families of those who died.
Meanwhile, a medical bulletin released by the Muzaffarpur administration on Tuesday morning said that a total 107 children — 88 at the government-run SKMCH and 19 at the privately-run Kejriwal Maternity Hospital — had died due to encephalitis.
A team of doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences is likely to reach Muzaffarpur on Tuesday.