PM Modi concerned about Gorakhpur deaths, says CM Adityanath

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The Chief Minister has said it would be "heinous" if the children had died because of a disruption in oxygen supply.

"I have formed a high level Committee under the supervision of the Chief Secretary and a thorough probe has been ordered to check the cause of the deaths in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and the supply of oxygen".

Expressing anguish at the deaths of children, he said while there should be no politics on the issue, but action should be expedited against the guilty and the state government should try to get to the bottom of the tragedy.

Initially, it was reported that the children died to to lack of liquid oxygen in the BRD college, but Adityanath has insisted that the deaths occurred due to encephalitis and other reasons, and not because of lack of oxygen supply.

21 children died due to shortage of supply of liquid oxygen in BRD Medical College, in last 36 hours. The PMO also sought a report on the matter.

On Sunday, Yogi Adityanath, the state's chief minister, and Jagat Prakash Nadda, India's health minister, visited the hospital. The Principal of Baba Raghav Das Medical College was suspended by the Uttar Pradesh government in Gorakhpur for his negligent behaviour.

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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.

"We are confident that none of the lives were lost because of this episode", a senior government health official in Gorakhpur told AFP on Sunday on condition of anonymity. The CM further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended every possible aid to the state government.

The report also cited the number of deaths due to Encephalitis in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who visited the hospital, blamed the State government for the "lapse" and demanded that the Health Minister and Medical Education Minister be sacked.

The Chief Minister, who has represented Gorakhpur in Parliament for almost 20 years, said dirty surroundings and open defecation were responsible for the deaths. Not a tragedy, it's a massacre, said Nobel pecae prize winning social activist Kailash Satyarthi on Gorakhpur hospital deaths.

JP Nadda announced setting up of an 85-crore regional medical centre in Gorakhpur for research on diseases that afflict children.

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