Lucknow: An RTI response has revealed that BRD Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur was facing shortage of oxygen cylinders on the night of August 11, 2017 when around 30 kids died in the encephalitis. The response which was given by the BRD administration on April 19 also stated that around six cylinders were bought from other hospitals and the then nodal officer Dr Kafeel Khan had arranged four oxygen cylinders on his own.
The RTI response, to an extent, corroborates the stand of Dr Kafeel who received considerable backlash for stating that there was oxygen shortage as BRD administration did not make timely payments to the supplier Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd.
The RTI was filed by a Lucknow based activist Sanjay Sharma who claimed that the government was trying to hide the facts related to the tragedy.
Speaking to the media, Sanjay Sharma said, “The RTI response by BRD stating that oxygen cylinders were brought from outside makes it clear that there was a shortage of oxygen on August 11,2017. The information which was asked in Februray last year was made available in July this year and that too without the information of the probe report. If everything was right, then why aren’t they sharing the outcome of probe report?”
After spending around eight months in jail, Dr Kafeel is now out on bail. He held the government responsible for the deaths of the children at BRD hospital last year and alleged that he and his family were targeted for no reason.
Speaking to News18, Dr Kafeel said, “Government is responsible for turning my and my family’s life a complete nightmare. It is nothing but government sponsored victimisation. Whatever happened on the night of August 10, 2017, I will always call it a massacre and that was a fault of those who got 14 reminders in six months from Pushpa Sales for the payment.”
He added that the incident happened because people who were sitting in Lucknow did not take the matter seriously. He further alleged that he was put behind bars because certain people feared that he would speak the truth.
“I hope justice will prevail someday and the real culprits will be sent behind bars. Our last hope is the judiciary and we are fighting a legal battle with all that is left with us,” he said.