New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh over the recent deaths of 60 children – including 23 on a single day, August 10 – at the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur.
Several reports – including the original report of the district magistrate – said the hospital was facing an acute shortage of oxygen which led to the sudden spike in the number of deaths. However, the state government has since changed its narrative, now producing various natural reasons for the deaths like acute encephalitis syndrome and claiming that the number of those who died isn’t outside the “normal”.
Taking suo moto cognisance and seeking a report from the state government, the NHRC has said that the incident indicates “gross callousness” on the part of the hospital and the state administration, Deccan Herald reported. The commission also asked the government what steps have been taken to compensate the families.
The NHRC’s notice also says that the commission had earlier taken up the encephalitis-related deaths with the state’s chief secretary, The Hindu reported. “However, in spite of assurance given by the state administration, the situation has not improved,” the NHRC has said.
While the uproar continues over the deaths and the state’s alleged negligence in not paying the oxygen suppliers despite repeated reminders, chief minister Adityanath seems to have other things on his mind. On Monday (August 14), he directed state authorities to celebrate Janmashtami in a “grand” way, Indian Express reported. “Krishna Janmashtami is an important festival and the police should organise it in a traditional and grand way,” the newspaper quoted him as saying to the DGP in a communique.
Meanwhile, according to ANI, Amit Shah tried to play down what has happened in Gorakhpur and say that the opposition is overreacting.
— ANI (@ANI) August 14, 2017
“The Congress is always asking for resignations. In a country of this size, there have been incidents like this before, this is not the first time this is happening,” the news agency quoted him as saying in Gorakhpur. He added that Adityanath has ordered a probe into the matter, according to CNN News18.