Under strident opposition attack over the death of scores of children in a state-run Gorakhpur hospital, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday warned of “exemplary” action against those found responsible for the horrifying tragedy amid calls for his resignation.
Over 60 children have reportedly died at BRD Medical College Hospital since 7 August, many for want of oxygen whose supply was disrupted after bills were not paid to the vendor. At least 30 children were reported dead in the last two days alone. Many of the victims were infants who perished in the neonatal intensive care unit.
The deaths set off protests in the national capital even as Congress demanded that a murder case be registered against those whose negligence resulted in the “massacre”.
Adityanath, who visited the hospital on Sunday, however, counselled against politicising the tragedy.
“We have formed a high-powered committee under the state chief secretary to probe the reason of the deaths of children in the BRD Medical College and the (lack of) supply of oxygen. Stringent action will be taken against the guilty, whether in Gorakhpur or elsewhere,” Adityanath said.
The punishment will “set a standard”, I assure you, the UP chief minister, who addressed a joint press conference with Union Health Minister JP Nadda after visiting the hospital together, said.
“We staged a protest outside the health minister’s residence over the Gorakhpur tragedy. Eggs and tomatoes were hurled by some of the activists who were agitated over the deaths of innocent children,” Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha leader Faisal Mansoor said after TV channels showed protesters throwing eggs and tomatoes at Singh’s residence.
Police said no case has been registered so far in the absence of a formal complaint.
The state government had on Saturday ordered an official inquiry by the chief secretary and suspended the principal of the BRD Medical College Hospital Rajiv Mishra.
Several social and political organisations, including the Left-wing AISA, staged protests at Jantar Mantar in the national capital against the shocking deaths.
-Excerpts from Press Trust of India