Dirty surrounding, open defecation behind children's deaths: Adityanath
Even as a magisterial probe is underway into the death of over 60 children, including infants, at the Baba Raghav Das Medical college in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday blamed lack of cleanliness.
Addressing a gathering at Allahabad, Adityanath told the gathering that the death of these children in his hometown was caused by filth and scourge of open defecation.
"There are vector-borne diseases, such as encephalitis, you must be hearing media reports of BRD medical college these days...it is a tragedy that lives of young children have been snuffed out at such young age because we do not lead a clean and hygienic life" he said while reminding the crowd that the the disease has been the bane of eastern Uttar Pradesh since 1978.
"Gandagi ki wajah se is desh ka baccha asamay kaal kalvit ho raha hai (Unclean surroundings are causing untimely death of children)," he said, while praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and how his Swacch Bharat mission aimed at ridding people of the dirty and filth around them.
"The governments cannot be the problem, they are solutions and if they are problems in themselves they have no right to continue," he added.
PM Modi monitoring situation, UP govt denies 'oxygen supply' disruption as cause of deaths
At least 60 children have died in the past six days in Gorakhpur at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital because of infections and an alleged disruption of oxygen supply in the paediatrics ward. The Uttar Pradesh government is facing the heat from Opposition parties and other outlets since Gorakhpur falls under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's constituency.
While the state government has already ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, state ministers have criticised Opposition parties for politicising the deaths. Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya told ANI on Saturday that their political rivals were making comments in "haste". State Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh also told ANI that Opposition should refrain from politicising the issue. Leaders from Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have expressed their condolences for the bereaved families and have called out the state government for its alleged laxity in the tragedy.
BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj claims oxygen was cut off
BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj today said 30 infants died in a Gorakhpur hospital because oxygen supply was cut off over non-payment of dues.
He demanded stringent action against those responsible for the tragedy in Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital, where 30 children are believed to have died in 48 hours.
"The deaths which took place in a Gorakhpur hospital were very saddening. The person, who switched off the oxygen supply on the pretext of non-payment of dues, was responsible for the incident," the MP from Unnao told reporters.
Denying media reports that he had termed the incident as a "massacre" (narsanhar), Sakshi Maharaj said, "I have never said so. I said the deaths were not natural and steps should be taken to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future.