Taking strong view of death of over 60 children in the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, the UP government on Saturday suspended the principal with immediate effect for negligence on his part. The children died in the last five days due to encephalitis and alleged lack of oxygen supply in the medical college. The action was taken following report submitted to chief minister Yogi Adityanath by state health minister Siddhartha Nath Singh and state medical education minister Ashutosh Tandon, who visited the hospital earlier in the day, on his instruction. 

The government has already ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the chief minister and got details of the Gorakhpur incident. He assured the chief minister all possible help from the Centre. Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda also spoke to Yogi Adityanath in this regard. 

Subsequently, Union Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel and Union Health Secretary will visit Gorakhpur to take stock of the situation, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a tweet. 

It also said: “PM is constantly monitoring the situation in Gorakhpur. He is in constant touch with the Central and UP governments.”

Meanwhile, the owner of a firm which supplied oxygen to the hospital said his contract had ended in March and was not renewed, as per agency reports. 

Praveen Modi, owner of Pushpa Sales company, which used to supply oxygen to the BRD Medical College, categorically denied that it had the tender to do so. Speaking to media persons, he said his contract with the hospital had ended in March and was not renewed. While it is a practice that, till new tender formalities are not completed, the supplier is asked to continue as a stop gap arrangement, in this case it was not done, he said. 

The contract of Pushpa Sales company was ended and the contract given to a new firm from Allahabad – Imperial Gas. Praveen Modi said that till date Rs 20 lakh payment was pending with the hospital and that he had supplied liquid oxygen on Friday too, after a request made by the Divisional Commissioner.

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