Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Congress demands PM Modi’s apology in his I-Day address

Gorakhpur hospital deaths: The manner in which this government has failed, the way this incident has happened and there is negligence on the part of the government, we hope that the prime minister will in his I-day address first apologise", Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 14, 2017 9:37 pm
gorakhpur, gorakhpur children death, gorakhpur hospital tragedy, gorakhpur hospital, BRD Medical College Principal, yogi adityanath, BRD Medical College, indian express news, india news Gorakhpur hospital deaths: A large number of children have been admitted at ICU for encephalitis treatment. (Source: Express photo by Vishal Srivastav)

Congress on Monday demanded that PM Narendra Modi should apologise to the country in his address to the nation on the occasion of Independence Day over the hospital deaths in Gorakhpur. The party also attacked the prime minister for remaining silent on the issue. “The manner in which this government has failed, the way this incident has happened and there is negligence on the part of the government, we hope that the prime minister will in his I-day address first apologise”, Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said. He also demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Adityanath and Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh.

Aam Aadmi Party has also raised concerns over the silence of PM Modi. The party has also demanded pressing murder charges against Yogi Adityanath and top officials saying that the “the children died to the government’s criminal negligence.” “”The UP government talks about temples, ambulances for cows. The prime minister has all the time to tweet about happenings around the world, but he has no time to spare a word on the Gorakhpur tragedy,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh added according to PTI.

Gorakhpur hospital deaths Highlights:

9:20 pm: Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav who visited the the families of three children who died in the tragedy today announced that his party would give Rs two lakh each to the kin of the victim. He also called out the state government for being “completly irresposible.”

9:00 pm: Congress demands PM Modi to aplogise to the nation during his Independence Day address tomorrow. The party also criticised the prime minister’s silence over the issue. “The prime minister uses Twitter to say something about tragedies even in Turkey or USA, but he has not found any word to console the families of the dead children. We hope he apologises to the country for the deaths due to negligence in his address to the nation on Independence Day,” Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said. “The manner in which this government has failed, the way this incident has happened and there is negligence on the part of the government, we hope that the prime minister will in his I-day address first apologise”, he said according to PTI.

8:00 pm: Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh meanwhile claimed that corruption had been detected in the administration of BRD Medical College. “As against the demand of Rs 68 lakh for the purchase of oxygen cylinders at the hospital, the Yogi Adityanath government had released Rs two crore on August 5.But the hospital administration made payments not before August 11 and even then it spent only Rs 11 lakh. Why? Because of ‘commissionkhori’ (the practice of seeking commission),” he said as quoted by PTI.

6:50 pm:  Aam Aadmi Party has demanded that murder charges be pressed against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and top officials.  AAP leader Sanjay Singh said that the agency had sent as eight reminders to get its pending dues, of around Rs 67 lakh, cleared. “It was a criminal act. There is not an iota of doubt that the children died to the government’s criminal negligence. Cases of murder should be registered against the chief minister, health minister and other top officials involved,” he said. The party also released two letters purportedly written by Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd, to support their claim.

6:00 pm: Samajwadi Party president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav visited the bereaved families.

5.30 pm: Resident doctors of AIIMS condemned the sacking of Dr Kafeel Khan alleging that he had been made a “scapegoat” in the incident. “With great pain we have to say that once again a doctor has been made a scapegoat for the infrastructural lapse and failure of the government,” President of the resident doctors association at AIIMS, Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti was quoted as saying by PTI. They have also written a letter accusing the Uttar Pradesh government of “gross neglect of public health.”

4.30 pm: Yogi Adityanath is in Gonda surveying flood-affected areas. “We are looking for permanent solutions to flood-related problems; received complaints about few officials will take action,” he said.

Earlier today, the Gorakhpur airport was shutdown and all the flights scheduled to arrive and depart were cancelled due to flooding on the runway.

4.05 pm: Meanwhile in Delhi, there is a protest happening against the Gorakhpur tragedy at Uttar Pradesh Bhavan.

Protesters gather outside Uttar Pradesh Bhavan in New Delhi. (Source: EXPRESS PHOTO BY PRAVEEN KHANNA)

4.00 pm: Samajwadi Party workers show black flags to Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh in Allahabad; police detain five.

3.30 pm: Speaking at an event in Bengaluru, BJP national president and Rajya Sabha MP, Amit Shah said in a big country like India, there have been many such incidents in the past.

“Congress ka kaam hai isteefa maangna. Itne bade desh mein bahut saare haadse hue, pehli baar aisa haadsa nahi hua hai. (It is Congress’s job to ask for resignation. In a big country like India, there have been many such incidents in the past. This is not the first time),” said Shah.

On Yogi Adityanath’s directive to the state authorities to celebrate Janmashtami in a “grand” way, he said the festival will be celebrated in UP in the same manner it is done in rest of the country.

apni jagah hai,jaise desh mein hogi, waise UP mein logon ke personal belief ke aadhar par hogi, yeh govt festival nahi,” Shah said.

3.00 pm: Former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to arrive shortly at the BRD hospital. Police brought in sniffer dogs and sanitised the area. He is also expected to meet the families of the children who died last week.

2.31 pm: The National Human Rights Commission has sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the deaths of several children in BRD Medical College.

Police had said that no case has been registered so far in the absence of a formal complaint. On August 12, the Yogi Adityanath government had ordered an official inquiry to probe the deaths, and suspended the principal of the Medical College Hospital Rajiv Mishra.

2.00 pm: For those of you just joining us, the Supreme Court earlier today declined to entertain a plea seeking a SIT probe into the Gorakhpur hospital deaths. The bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud asked the lawyer, who mentioned the issue
before it, to approach the Allahabad High Court with his grievances.

1.00 pm: Dr Usha Mohan Das on the Gorakhpur tragedy: “Why do horrific things keep happening to babies in India? What has happened to the dignity of human life? Especially when it is that of a child who can barely even voice her concerns, or fight for her right to life. The Gorakhpur incident reeks of apathy and reflects increasingly on society’s indifference to the life of a child…” READ MORE

12.35 pm: In other news, the Gorakhpur airport has been closed due to flooding on the runway. All flights scheduled to arrive and depart have been cancelled.

12.30 pm: Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to visit families of two infants who died at the BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur. He will also pay a visit to the hospital later in the day.

12.00 pm: UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya told news agency ANI: “Deceased can’t be brought back but our sympathies are with them& we stand with them in this hour of sadness…”

On Dr Kafeel Khan being removed as Nodal Officer, Maurya said: “Don’t want to make personal comments on any doctor. Probe is on and whosoever be the culprit, won’t be spared.”

11.55 pm: Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed preparations for a “grand Krishna Janmashtami celebration” at a time when the state is mourning the death of over 60 infants in Gorakhpur.

In a communique issued late on Sunday to the Director General of Police (DGP) Sulkhan Singh, Adityanath said: “Krishna Janmashtami is an important festival and the police should organise it in a traditional and grand way.” READ MORE

11.50 pm: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Sunday said that the suspension of only Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital’s principal Rajiv Mishra was wrong, because the tragedy was an administrative failure and everyone should be held accountable.

“The suspension of only the principal is completely wrong. It’s an administrative failure. Everyone should be held accountable. If you’re suspending him, then suspend the local admin too and ban the company,” IMA president K K Aggarwal told ANI.

Sunil carries his mother, at the hospital on Sunday. (Express Photo)

11.45 pm: This man was forced to carry his 70-year-old mother at the Gorkhpur hospital ahead of Yogi Adtiyanath’s visit.  “No vehicle was available, so I carried her to the X-ray facility. While returning, they told me that the Chief Minister is arriving so I should rush. I asked mother to grip me well around my neck and ran,” said Sunil.

11.40 pm:  In today’s edition of The Indian Express, Lalmani Verma reports how the wife of suspended BRD Medical College Principal Dr Rajeev Mishra “called the shots” at the college.

Dr A K Srivastava, who was transferred as Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of BRD Medical College on August 10, told The Indian Express that Mishra’s wife Dr Purnima Shukla interfered in all administrative decisions. Shukla is attached to BRD Medical College, but it was not clear in what capacity.

“She had complete say on posting of the staff through outsourcing, transfer and promotions in the medical college, though files were formally signed by her husband. If inquiry is conducted into postings, transfers and promotions done at the college in the past one year, her role would be established,” Srivastava said.

11.35 pm:  SC refuses to take suo motu cognisance of death of children at a Gorakhpur hospital in Uttar Pradesh. SC asks the lawyer, who mentioned the plea, to move Allahabad High Court with his grievance.

11.30 pm: On Sunday evening, Samajwadi Party workers threw eggs and tomatoes at Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh’s residence in protest over the deaths at the Gorakhpur hospital.

Eggs and tomatoes thrown at UP Health Minister’s residence. (Source: ANI)

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