DM report gives clean chit to Dr. Kafeel, contradict govt claims

GORAKHPUR: In a major breakthrough, District Magistrate, Rajeev Rautela, submitted an inquiry report in Gorakhpur tragedy and has held the firm Pushpa Sales, Principal RK Mishra, Anesthesia Department head Dr Satish Kumar responsible for the deaths of the children.

Dr. Kafeel Ahmad Khan, the head paediatrician who has been sacked by the hospital has not been indicted in Rautela’s report.

Dr. Kafeel acted in time and brought oxygen cylinders from other nursing homes to save the lives of many children.

“Dr Kafeel Khan (nodal of 100-bed AES ward) had said that he had informed in writing about the ward’s AC not working to Dr Satish Kumar, but they were not repaired in time. Dr Satish, the HoD of Anaesthesia was absent from the BRD Medical College on August 11 without any written permission,” the report said.

The inquiry, into the supply of oxygen to the BRD Medical College on August 10 when 23 children died, also alleged that there was “financial anomaly” and overwriting in the log books.

The five-member panel said Dr Satish Kumar was “prima facie guilty of not discharging his duties”. It also named Gajanan Jaiswal, the chief pharmacist, and Dr Rajiv Mishra.

Pointing to another lacuna, the committee said it was the job of Dr Satish and chief pharmacist Gajanan Jaiswal to maintain the stock book and log book of oxygen cylinders. However, these “were not maintained, and overwriting was done”.

“In-charge of logbook Dr Satish did not sign the logbook, which shows that this issue was not taken up seriously either by him or by the principal,” the committee added.

According to the report, Principal Dr Mishra was out of headquarters on August 10, and Dr Satish had left for Mumbai on August 11 without any permission.

“If both the officials had resolved the problems in time before leaving the medical college, then these circumstances would not had risen. Both the officials must (have) had information about disruption of oxygen supply by the firm.”

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It also recommended an audit and a high level probe by the medical education department.

“Overwriting in the stock book, and non-payment of bills of the liquid oxygen supplier firm either serially or date- wise, prima facie points out to financial anomaly, for which it would be appropriate to conduct an audit and a high-level probe by the medical education department.”

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Allahabad High Court in connection with the Gorakhpur deaths seeking a judicial inquiry in the matter and restraining doctors of the hospital from private practice.

This comes in line after Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela in his report blamed firm Pushpa Sales, Principal R.K. Mishra, Anesthesia Department head Dr. Satish responsible for the entire episode.

With agencies inputs