BRD medical college toll rises to 1,304; NBW against 7


Gorakhpur, Sep 1 : The state-run BRD Medical College reported death of 35 children in the past 48 hours taking the toll to 1,304 this year, even as a Gorakhpur court issued non-bailable warrants against seven people.

College principal Dr PK Singh said, “On August 31, 16 children died, while on September 1, 19 others died in the NICU, general and encephalitis wards of the hospital.”

Earlier in the day, additional sessions judge Shivanand Singh issued the NBW against seven of the nine people named in the FIR, a day after he sent former principal of the college Dr Rajiv Mishra and his medico-wife Purnima Shukla to 14-day judicial custody.

The warrants were issued against incharge of AES ward Dr Kafeel Khan, anstheist Dr Satish, pharmacist Gajanan Jaiswal, accountant Sudhir Pandey, assistant clerk Sanjay Kumar Tripathi and gas suppliers Uday Pratap Singh and Manish Bhandari, investigating officer C Abhishek Singh said.

Khan, who was the nodal officer, has already been removed from the post.

Following the deaths, mostly of infants, cases were registered under various sections of the IPC, Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Medical Council Act against nine persons, including the doctor couple.

Mishra and his wife, who were arrested from Kanpur on Tuesday by Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF), were produced before the judge, who sent them to the Gorakhpur district jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

They were named in an FIR lodged by the UP government.

Mishra was suspended as principal of the medical college on August 12 after the deaths were reported. He resigned the same day taking moral responsibility.

There were allegations that the deaths happened due to disruption in oxygen supply as the vendor had not been paid for several months.

While the Uttar Pradesh government vehemently denied that shortage of oxygen led to the deaths, a high-powered probe committee headed by Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar indicted Mishra and others of laxity and other charges.

Mishra was accused of sitting over on the issue of payments to the vendor supplying oxygen gas to the hospital.

The doctor couple were booked on the basis of the report submitted to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath by the chief secretary.

Adityanath had formed the committee on August 12, a day after the deaths of children were reported at the hospital.

The two doctors were picked up from Kanpur, where they had reportedly gone to consult a lawyer.

The medical college attracted global attention when more than 60 children, mostly infants, died at the hospital within the span of a week last month. The issue also acquired a political colour with the opposition attacking the government over it.

The Allahabad High Court yesterday sought a “detailed report” on the infrastructure and medical facilities at the medical college.

It directed the secretary of the Uttar Pradesh State Legal Services Authority to personally visit the medical college hospital and file a report along with photographs of various wards.

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