Police on Friday filed a chargesheet against seven persons, including two doctors, in connection with the deaths of around 30 children at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur on August 10 and 11. The deaths were reportedly due to shortage of liquid oxygen.
Those chargesheeted included former hospital principal Rajiv Mishra’s wife Dr Purnima Mishra (senior homeopathic medical officer posted in Gorakhpur at the time of the incident, now suspended), Dr Satish (suspended head of anaesthesia of the hospital), Gajanand Jaiswal (suspended chief pharmacist) and suspended clerks — Sudhir Pandey, Sanjay Tripathi and Uday Pratap. Manish Bhandari, proprietor of M/s Pushpa Sales, which stopped supplying liquid oxygen to the hospital due to non-payment of dues, has also been chargesheeted.
On October 25, the police had received prosecution sanction against Purnima and five other employees of the hospital from the state government. They are yet to seek prosecution sanction and file a chargesheet against former principal Rajiv Mishra and hospital paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, as the investigating officer (IO) is still collecting evidence, said authorities. Mishra and Khan had been arrested along with the seven chargesheeted.
The chargesheet was filed in a local Gorakhpur court under sections 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and provisions under the Prevention of Corruption Act, said investigating officer Abhishek Kumar Singh.
The chargesheet against Manish Bhandari has been filed under sections 120 B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) and 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) of the IPC, he added. He said it has not been proved yet that the children died due to shortage of oxygen.
In the chargesheet, Purnima has been accused of running the BRD college administration and delaying payment to the oxygen supplier firm. “During investigation, it was found that she used to take commission against the payments made to oxygen suppliers. She did not allow the oxygen supplier to be paid in this case, as she did not get her commission,” said Singh. “Manish Bhandari has been found guilty of breaking the agreement with the hospital of regularly supplying oxygen,” he alleged.