Gorakhpur Tragedy: NHRC Issues Notice To UP Govt

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Gorakhpur: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the government of Uttar Pradesh, asking for a detailed report on the deaths of children in the BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur.

It has also asked the government to detail the steps taken for relief and rehabilitation of the affected families as well as the actions taken against the accused within four weeks. The Commission took suo motu cognizance of media reports hinting at the negligence in the supply of liquid oxygen at the hospital, which resulted in the tragedy.

The Commission observed that reported deaths, in such a large number in a government-run hospital, amount to serious violation of right to life and health. This indicates towards gross callousness on part of the hospital administration and the Medical Education and Health Department of the government of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier also, it has come across several instances of deaths in the hospitals due to Japanese Encephalitis.

The Commission has further observed that the issue of deaths due to Japanese Encephalitis was discussed with the chief secretary and other senior officers of the state government in detail recently. However, despite assurance given by the state administration, the situation has not improved.

According to the various media reports, the private firm, contracted to supply liquid oxygen to the BRD Medical College, stopped the supplies, as it was not paid the outstanding dues of almost Rs 70 lakh which led to the tragic deaths of about 60 children, admitted in the Neo-natal and Encephalitis Wards of the hospital.

The magisterial inquiry has already been ordered by the administration to ascertain the cause of the deaths.  In the last three decades, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) have claimed over 50,000 lives in the eastern Uttar Pradesh, mostly in the Gorakhpur district. It is further mentioned that total 124 deaths were reported in the hospital till August 8, 2017. About 641 children died last year and 491 in the year 2015.

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