LUCKNOW: The UP Special Task Force (STF) arrested Dr Rajiv Kumar Mishra, suspended principal of Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College, and his wife Dr Purnima Shukla from Saketnagar locality of Kanpur on Tuesday in connection with the death of over 30 children at government-run hospital within a span of 48 hours between August 9 and 11.
The couple, who had been on the police radar for a week now, were taken to Gorakhpur for interrogation. The arrest was preceded by a raid by the joint teams of Gorakhpur and Kanpur STF at the residence of a prominent criminal lawyer of Kanpur where the couple were staying.
The then principal Dr Mishra was suspended for dereliction of duty and Dr Kafeel Ahmad, nodal officer of 100-bed encephalitis ward was also removed from his post by medical education minister during his visit to the medical college on August 11.
Tuesday’s police action has come in response to the FIR which was lodged by medical education and training director general KK Gupta against nine persons at Hazratganj police station in state capital Lucknow on August 23 and later transferred to Gorakhpur on August 24.
While Dr Misra and Manish Bhandari of Pushpa Sales Private Limited, the oxygen suppliers ¬ were charged with attempted culpable homicide (attempt to cause death) and criminal conspiracy, Dr Satish Kumar, head, anaesthesia department and Dr Kafeel Ahmed, were charged with criminal negligence resulting in so many deaths.
According to the FIR, Dr Misra has been accused of not clearing the payment of Pushpa Sales for want of bribe in connivance with his subordinate staff at BRD Medical College.
Dr Misra has also been charged with leaving the district headquarters ignoring the media reports regarding deaths at the hospital instead of handling the emergency situation at the medical college.
Dr Misra’s wife, Dr Purnima Shukla, who was not posted at the BRD Medical College and was associated with the district Homeopathic Hospital, has been accused of seeking monetary gratification using her husband’s name and aiding him in corrupt practices.
Dr Kafeel was also charged with using social media to spread wrong information apparently in reference to reports in a section of the media, which described him as a hero who arranged oxygen cylinders from his own pocket.
Believably, the FIR also stated that the state-run medical college had received a total fund of `454 lakh for the financial year 2017-18, of which `63.65 lakh could be given to Pushpa Sales to clear the pending dues of the firm.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Health Department has confirmed filing two separate caveats before the Allahabad and Lucknow benches of the High Court against the Gorakhpur-based BRD Medical College for medical negligence.