The Gorakhpur tragedy and its aftermath

60 children die in five days in Gorakhpur hospital

Family members and relatives mourn outside the BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur on Friday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Sixty children died between August 7 and 11 in BRD Hospital, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. While 30 died in two days (August 10 and 11), allegedly due to lack of oxygen following non-supply of cylinders by the contractor for non-payment of dues, 12 died due to AES (acute encephalitis syndrome) and the remaining due to other causes, the hospital said.

State Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon has said that the BRD Hospital principal has been suspended for negligence.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday dispatched two Cabinet Ministers to the hospital.

On Mr. Adityanath's instructions, Health Minister Sidharthnath Singh and Mr. Tandon left for Gorakhpur. They have been directed to inspect the situation and take strict action, a government spokesperson said.

Before leaving for Gorakhpur, Mr. Singh said that strict action would be taken in the matter as it was a serious issue. He also asked the Opposition not to politicise the deaths.

When it was pointed that the incident happened despite a visit to the hospital by Mr. Adityanath on Wednesday, Mr. Singh clarified that the hospital authorities did not inform Mr. Adityanath of the crisis in oxygen cylinder supply during his visit.


 “...BJP government is responsible & should punish the negligent, who caused this tragedy,” Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Azad sees government lapse

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who visited the hospital, blamed the State government for the ''lapse'' and demanded that the Health Minister and Medical Education Minister be sacked. He demanded an apology from Mr. Adityanath to people.

Congress leader and former Union Minister R.P.N. Singh said that the incident happened only due to the lapse of the BJP government.

BJP trying to cover up incident: Akhilesh

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhikesh Yadav accused the BJP of trying to cover up the incident and hide facts. "The kin of the dead were handed over the bodies and chased away. Post mortems were not conducted and admission card were also made to vanish," he alleged. Opposition parties were raising the issue as the government was shying away from its responsibilities, he said.

“Children die a painful death in Gorakhpur due to lack of oxygen supply. Government is responsible. Strict action must be taken,” Mr. Yadav tweeted. He demanded that the families of the victims should be given ₹20 lakh as compensation.

The SP sent a delegation of leaders under Leader of the Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary to Gorakhpur.

U.P. Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya criticised the Opposition for giving statements in haste.

There is heavy deployment of police outside the hospital.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 3:22:13 AM |

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