Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi expressed his outrage at the death of over 60 children in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College's hospital due to alleged lack of oxygen, saying it was not a tragedy but a clear case of massacre.
Taking to Twitter, Satyarthi tore into the Uttar Pradesh government asking "is this what 70 years of freedom means for our children?"
30 kids died in hospital without oxygen. This is not a tragedy. It's a massacre. Is this what 70 years of freedom means for our children?— Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) August 11, 2017
Appeal to CM @myogiadityanath Ji. Your decisive intervention can correct decades of corrupt medical system of UP to prevent such incidents.— Kailash Satyarthi (@k_satyarthi) August 11, 2017
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered a thorough probe into the matter and assured strict action against those who were involved in the alleged shortage of oxygen supply in the hospital.
Speaking to the media today after attending an emergency meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that Yogi had recently visited the hospital, but he was not informed by the authorities about any anomalies.
State Minister for Medical Education Ashutosh Tandon reiterated the same and said action will be taken after detailed probe on the matter.
"The Chief Minister has given us proper instruction on this issue. We will leave for Gorakhpur soon and after details analysis of the situation will take further decision on the same," Tandon said.
Earlier in the day, the alleged disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen at the hospital claimed lives of three more children.
The shortage of oxygen allegedly led to encephalitis, which is a sudden onset inflammation of the brain, following which the children died.
The families of the children have claimed that the doctors were not treating them well and the hospital was not even providing the medicines which were required for the treatment.
As per the locals, though the hospital is supposed to provide free medical assistance, neither there is proper medical facility available nor are the patients provided free medicines.
Earlier on Friday, it was reported that as many as 30 children lost their lives due to encephalitis in a span of 48 hours at the hospital.
Gorakhpur DM Rajeev Rautela said that the cause of the deaths at the BRD Hospital was the disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen and has further appealed to the suppliers to not cut the supply henceforth.
Following this report, the Uttar Pradesh Government jumped in defence of the medical college, while also assuring that the District Magistrate has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and the report will be out in 24 hours.
"There haven't been any deaths due to lack of oxygen supply. And 'only' seven children have died today. Today three deaths happened in Neonatal ICU, two due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and two due to Non-AES," UP Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon said.
"The District Magistrate has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. The report will be out in 24 hours," he added.
He further said that the arrangement of oxygen cylinders was duly made and a strict action will be taken against those responsible for the mishap.
According to data procured from the BRD hospital, in past five days - from 7 August to 11 August, a total of 60 deaths have occurred in the hospital.