Did UP Govt Sit on Probe Against BRD Medical College Principal?
Evidence accessed by News18 shows the state government had received complaints of corruption against the medical college principal and ordered an inquiry on July 10, a month before tragedy struck.
Close to 70 children have lost their lives in Gorakhpur's BRD Hospital. (CNN-News18 photo)
Gorakhpur: Could the death of 30 children at Gorakhpur's BRD Medical College have been avoided if the Uttar Pradesh government acted on time? Emerging evidence clearly indicates that the government fatally sat on several complaints of wrongdoing against the medical college authorities.
Evidence accessed by News18 shows the state government had received complaints of corruption against the medical college principal Rajiv Mishra. The Yogi Adityanath government even ordered an inquiry, which was signed by state minister for Medical Education Ashutosh Tandon, on July 10, a month before the tragedy struck.
News18 has accessed a copy of a letter written by Tandon to CP Chand, a member of the UP legislative council, informing him of the probe. The letter said, “Director General of Medical Education has been ordered to conduct the probe.”
The MLC was informed because he had raised allegations of corruption against the BRD Medical College on the floor of the house on May 22. The allegations against Dr Mishra included misuse of government funds in allocation of tenders to favoured contractors.
He accused the principal of not utilising funds for purchase of essential medical supplies because no cuts or commission were offered. Chand also alleged an interference by Dr Mishra's wife in allocation of tenders.
So, clearly, the state government was in the know.
On August 12, UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said at his press conference: “On August 9, when UP Chief Minister visited Gorakhpur, he was not informed about payment issues with the firm supplying liquid oxygen... The college administration had kept the CM in the dark. The college principal is, therefore, being suspended on prima facie charges of mismanagement and concealing facts.”
Prima Facie? Minister Tandon who had ordered the probe more than a month ago was sitting next to Singh.
What happened to that probe's findings is anybody's guess. Was he given a clean chit? Was someone higher up shielding him?
The only thing that is known is that timely action on that probe may have had saved several innocent lives.
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