LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will today visit the hospital in Gorakhpur where the deaths of 63 children over the last five days has sparked massive outrage. Battling intense criticism, the Chief Minister, on Saturday, said that the chief of the hospital had been suspended. He also ordered a magisterial probe into the deaths, promising to "not spare anyone found guilty"; it would be a "heinous act" if the deaths were caused by a disruption in the supply of oxygen, the Chief Minister added.
"The state government has the full support of the central government," Health Minister JP Nadda, who will also visit the hospital today, ruling out a separate investigation by the Centre. Chief Minister Adityanath, who briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the tragedy on Saturday, later said at a press conference that the role of the oxygen vendor will be probed. Raids were conducted at the Lucknow-based firm that had stopped supply of oxygen to the hospital because previous bills were not paid.
The government has said that funds for the oxygen supplier were not released by the administration of the Baba Raghav Das Medical College till August 11 even though they had been cleared on August 5. Rajeev Misra, who was suspended as the chief of the medical college, has denied that he was at fault, blaming red tape for the delay. He resigned later last night, taking moral responsibility for the deaths.
Earlier on Saturday, speaking at a function in Allahabad, the Chief Minister, who has represented Gorakhpur in Parliament for nearly 20 years, said dirty surroundings and open defecation were responsible for the deaths. "Since 1978, children in eastern UP are dying due to lack of sanitation and defecating in the open," he said.