Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said that a magisterial inquiry has been ordered and a committee has been formed to look into the Gorakhpur tragedy, more than 60 children in Baba Raghav Das Medical College's hospital in a span of six days.
Addressing the media, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, who briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day, said that he has asked a team of top ministers to determine if the death of the children was actually due to a disruption in oxygen supply at the hospital and assured to "not spare anyone found guilty".
Gorakhpur is Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath's Lok Sabha constituency.
"All the reports that have come in the media, even the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is upset with them," Yogi said, adding that PM Modi said that the Centre Government will provide whatever aids the Uttar Pradesh government needs to strengthen the health sector.
The UP Chief Minister also said, "We have formed a committee under state chief secretary to probe the incident. The role of oxygen gas supplier who was allocated the job during the previous government will also be investigated."
At a press conference in Lucknow, Yogi also said that he has also sent two ministers to the BRD Medical College to investigate the matter.
He also said, "We have suspended the principal of the BRD Medical College and taking him guilty for his actions and an investigation on him has already been ordered and is underway. Those found guilty won't be spared."
Adityanath also emphasised on the fact that Japanese encephalitis remains a challenge for his government and assured that a solution has been found to address the menace.
"Encephalitis has been there since 1978 and if infants from eastern Uttar Pradesh are suffering from it then it's due to lack of hygiene and open defecation," said the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
He further said that he has started the fight against encephalitis.
Adityanath also urged media to put forward the correct figure of deaths as it is very sensitive matter.
"Last month, I made two visits to the hospital and nobody raised or complained about any problem. In fact, I am told that the principal left without informing," he asserted.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel said that Prime Minister Modi had especially asked her to visit the hospital and get the necessary information that may help in the issue.
State Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon claimed that the deaths of children was not due to oxygen supply, supporting which he also released a list that claimed that most of the children died due to kidney failure and were premature.
Adityanath said, "The oxygen supply was low for about two hours, but the BRD Medical College had a system that beeped about it and after which the oxygen pressure was pumped manually."
He also said that there had been a delay in payment to the oxygen vendor by the college authorities and a probe has been ordered for this too.
Tandon said, "The oxygen supplier company claims that it had approached the health department on August 1 for payment of its dues, to which the department had released funds and informed the BRD Medical College for payment on August 5. The supplier later claimed that the funds were transferred only on August 11."
Adityanath also outrightly blamed the principal, Rajiv Mishra, for laxity in performing his duty.
According to data procurred from the BRD hospital, in five days - from August 7 to August 11, a total of 60 deaths occurred in the hospital.
The procurred data also shows the number of oxygen cylinders sent for refilling each day, showing a clear shortage of liquid oxygen in the hospital. (ANI)