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Yogi blames 'fake media', probe report admits oxygen supply broke down

Sanjay Pandey, DH News Service, Lucknow, Aug 13 2017, 18:14 IST
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. PTI file photo

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. PTI file photo

Facing flak following death of 30 children allegedly owing to shortage of oxygen at BRD Medical College in his Lok Sabha constituency of Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday sought to indicate that the deaths had been caused by encephalitis and slammed the media for what he termed resorting to ''fake reporting'' on such a sensitive matter.

A preliminary probe report by the Gorakhpur district magistrate, however, admitted that there was a ''breakdown'' in the supply of oxygen on the night of Thursday. Speaking to reporters after visiting the BRD Medical College, an emotional Adityanath said that he had been fighting battle against encephalitis for the past 20 years and no one ''understood'' the agony of the people better than him.

The chief minister also seemed to suggest that one could expect high casualty figure given the fact that three to five thousand patients visited the BRD Medical College every day.

''You (media) should not resort to fake reporting.....you (media) should visit the wards and report from there and not from outside.....go and see for yourself in the ward whether the patients are being treated or there is a carnage,'' he said.

Adityanath, who was accompanied by union minister for health J.P.Nadda, said that the government would wait for the report of the chief secretary led high level committee before taking action in the matter. ''Let the report come out...we will not spare the guilty,'' he added.

Nadda said that the union government would set up a Regional Centre for Research at Gorakhpur to facilitate research on vector borne diseases.

The opposition parties, however, continued their attack on Adityanath. Congress on Sunday termed the deaths as ''murder'' and demanded resignations of chief minister and the state health minister.

Notwithstanding the denials of the state government, a preliminary report by the district magistrate said that there was a ''breakdown'' in the oxygen supply on Thursday night.

30 children, mostly new born, had died allegedly owing to shortage of oxygen at the hospital in a period of 36-hours between Thursday and Friday. The government had suspended the principal of the medical college Dr. R.K.Mishra on charges of laxity.

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