NHRC issues notice to UP govt on Gorakhpur deaths, seeks report within 4 weeks

The NHRC notice points out ‘gross callousness’ on part of the BRD hospital administration and health departments of the Uttar Pradesh government.

india Updated: Aug 14, 2017 16:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
UP government,NHRC,National Human Rights Commission
Children at the Intensive Care Unit in the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur on Saturday. (Reuters Photo)

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government, calling for a detailed report in the deaths of more than 60 children at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur in the last six days.

The NHRC has also inquired through UP chief secretary Rajive Kumar about the steps taken for relief and rehabilitation of the affected families and action taken against the guilty officers within four weeks.

The notice follows the suo motu cognizance taken by the commission of several media reports hinting at “negligence” in the supply of liquid oxygen at the hospital, which “resulted in the tragedy”.

The commission observed that the deaths, reported in such large numbers at the government-run hospital, amounted to serious violation of right to life and health of the victims.

“This indicates towards gross callousness on part of the hospital administration and the medical education and health departments of the government of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier also, it has come across several instances of deaths in the hospitals due to Japanese Encephalitis,” the notice reads.

The commission further observed that deaths due to Japanese Encephalitis were discussed with the chief secretary and other senior officers of the state government extensively during the recent meeting in Lucknow for cases of Uttar Pradesh from August 9 to 11. In spite of an assurance given by the state administration, the situation had not improved, the commission pointed out.

“According to the various media reports since August 12-14, 2017, by most of the Hindi and English newspapers, 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 and the result was the tragic deaths of about 60 children, admitted in the neo-natal and encephalitis wards of the hospital,” the notice says.

In the last three decades, Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome have claimed more than 50,000 lives in eastern Uttar Pradesh, mostly in Gorakhpur. It is further mentioned that 124 deaths were reported in the BRD hospital till August 8, 2017. More than 600 children died last year and 491 in the year 2015, the commission observed.

First Published: Aug 14, 2017 16:27 IST