SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 AUGUST 2017 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 | `5 |LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ACTS OF DEFIANCE: THE HISTORY OF DRAMA IS TOLD THROUGH STORIES OF 10 STARS OF THE STAGE STYLIST SHREYASI PATHAK TALKS ABOUT ADAPTING TO TRENDS IN AN INDIVIDUALISTIC MANNER P2 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 35 and 27 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Gorakhpur hospital chief suspended Children’s death toll more than 60 UP minister denies oxygen shortage Min.57% Max: 34.9°C (0) SUN RISES 05:50 hrs MOON RISES 22.48 hrs Min: 27.7°C (+1) SUN SETS 19:02 hrs MOON SETS 11:54 hrs Centre seeks report, PM keeps track LUCKNOW, 12 AUGUST THUMBNAILS Students stand in formation of the Indian map ahead of Independence Day, in Amritsar IANS Shah invites Nitish to join NDA: Four years after the JD-U broke its 17-year-old alliance with the BJP, the Nitish Kumar-led party is now ready to rejoin its former alliance partner and now ruling party at the Centre. A formal invitation to Bihar Chief Minister Kumar to join the BJP-led NDA alliance was extended by BJP president Amit Shah PG 4 during a meeting at his residence. I n a knee-jerk reaction consequent to the huge outcry and lambasting of the Yogi Adiyanath government over the death of more than sixty children in the Baba Raghav Das Medical College of Gorakhpur, reportedly due to disruption of oxygen supply, the Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday suspended principal of the College Dr Rajiv Mishra with immediate effect. A high-level probe headed by chief secretary Rajive Kumar has also been ordered. That the BJP government was in a damage control mode was evident from the fact that the suspension came after health minister Siddharth Nath Singh and medical education minister Ashutosh Tandon visited the BRD Medical College on Saturday to assess the situation, a full three days after the first few deaths began to be recorded. The duo held talks with the officials and doctors following which they submitted their report. The suspension announced by Ashutosh Tandon at a press conference in Gorakhpur came in the aftermath of the ministers’ assessment of the cause of the deaths. Even as the medical education minister reportedly said the medical college principal was held accountable for delaying the payment to the oxygen supplier, his ministerial colleague, Siddharth Nath Singh maintained that the deaths were not caused by shortage of oxygen. To cap it all, Chief MinisterYogi Adityanath attributed the cause STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 AUGUST Amid widespread public outrage over the deaths of scores of children in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur ~ Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's home district ~ over the last few days due to oxygen supply shortage among other factors, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said on Saturday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was "constantly monitoring" the Gorakhpur situation. "PM is in constant touch with authorities from the Central and UP governments," the PMO said, adding that the Union minister of state for Relatives mourn the death of a child at the Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur on Saturday. of the multiple deaths to dirt and filth. He said the deaths occurred on account of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis (JE). The scourge was prevailing in the region since 1978, he said at a function in Allahabad. To recap, around 36 children in the age group of one to 15 years and even some new born died allegedly due to lack of oxygen in the neo-natal and general ward of the hospital. The deaths occurred betweenWednesday and Friday. Significantly, the hospital horror took place a day after the visit of the Chief Minister to his constituency Gorakhpur. The CM, who was on a two day visit, had taken stock of the arrangements at the encephalitis ward of the BRD hospital and also held meetings with the top officials. As reports of the deaths started pouring in, the district magistrate of Gorakhpur Rajiv Routela hurriedly held a press conference where he confirmed that the deaths had taken place but refused the allegation that they had occurred on account of a break in oxygen supply. The opposition parties however were not willing to buy this and neither were the unfortunate parents who had lost their children. The people of Gorakhpur, Lalu alleges `750-crore treasury scam involving Nitish-Sushil PATNA, 12 AUGUST for embezzlement of funds of District Board, District Nazarat and Cooperative Department. Mr Prasad told reporters the money had also gone out of the state besides being invested in real estate and other places. “One can’t deny the money laundering aspect. There is the involvement of banks also and hence a state government agency is not capable of carrying out the probe in a fair manner,” he claimed. Mr Prasad also demanded a special audit and a probe by the Enforcement Directorate. Mr Modi, who held portfolios of finance and commercial taxes for several years, had the responsibility of the finance department without whose permission money can’t be transferred to any bank account, Mr Prasad claimed. Showing a photograph to buttress his claim, the RJD chief asserted Mr Kumar, his deputy Sino-Indian flag meeting I on standoff ‘inconclusive’ aghast at the deaths, were not in conformity with the official stance. It was maintained by them that the vendor who supplied oxygen to the hospital had snapped supply following nonpayments of dues amounting to Rs68 lakh. This led to a sudden drop in the oxygen pressure after 8 PM on Thursday. The hospital authorities and the government were purportedly in the know of the pending dues as the vendor had apprised them through letters. With such a huge casualty at hand caused by man-made factors (it is probably for the first time in the state that deaths had and several BJP leaders were seen with a top official of the NGO attending a function. “Is it an example of zero tolerance for corruption ? Nitish has destroyed the state in the name of development.” Countering the RJD chief's charges, JD(U) spokesman and MLC Niraj Kumar said allegations could not be made merely on the basis of photographs. These must be supported by facts, he said. NEW DELHI, 12 AUGUST countries to sort out local issues and ensure peace and tranquillity along the sensitive border. The two sides hold BPMs in five points, Daulat Beg Oldie in northern Ladakh, Kibithoo in Arunachal Pradesh, Chusul in Ladakh, Bum-La near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and NathuLa in Sikkim. India and China have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector for nearly eight weeks after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area. China claimed it was constructing the road within its territory and has been demanding immediate pullout of the Indian troops from the disputed Doklam plateau. Bhutan says Doklam belongs to it but China claims it to be its territory. China has been ramping up the rhetoric against India over the last few weeks demanding immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from Doklam. The Chinese state media, particularly, has adopted an aggressive posture even going to the extent of not ruling out the possibility of a brief conflict between the two Asian nations. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had recently said both sides should first pull back their troops for any talks to take place, favouring a peaceful resolution of the border standoff. India also conveyed that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it. health Anupriya Patel and the Union health secretary will take stock of the situation from Gorakhpur. Union health minister J P Nadda asked Anupriya and health secretary C K Mishra to visit Gorakhpur in order to look into the deaths of children in the Gorakhpur hospital. Nadda has also sought a report from the UP health department in the matter. He spoke to Adityanath and assured him of assistance and expertise from the Centre in dealing with it. The UP CM told Nadda that "all aspects of deaths at BRD Medical College are being examined". Sixty children have died in the Gorakhpur hospital since 7 MORE REPORTS ON PG 4 August. occurred following disruption in oxygen supply) the Congress leaders led by Ghulam Nabi Azad and UPCC president Raj Babbar rushed to Gorakhpur. Accompanying them were RPN Singh and Sanjay Singh. Azad described the deaths as an extremely unfortunate incident and said the whole country was sad over it. He held the state government responsible and said the health minister should resign. A similar demand for the resignation of the health minister was made by Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati. She said while the BJP was habituated to not accepting its faults , this was a ‘ghor apradh’ (heinous crime). She demanded a high-level inquiry and monetary help to the bereaved families and said a three member panel had been constituted. The members will go to Gorakhpur to delve into the truth behind the deaths. Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav was equally unsparing in his criticism of the government for this horror. He said the onus of the deaths rested on the government as the children had died following lack of oxygen. He claimed that a few deaths taken place on Saturday too and the attendants were reportedly asked to leave the hospital in a hush-hush way. He accused the government of hiding facts. Sharad Yadav removed as RS leader 2 brothers die while cleaning sewer; father, fireman critical NEW DELHI, 12 AUGUST STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JanataDal-UnitedRajyaSabha members on Saturday removed SharadYadav, who opposed the party’s decision to ally with the BJP in Bihar, as their leader in the House and replaced him with RCP Singh, a senior party leader said. The MPs met Rajya Sabha Chairman MVenkaiah Naidu to hand him a letter appointingSinghastheleader of the JD-U in the Upper House, the leader said. Singhisatrustedlieutenant of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. JDU had on Friday night suspended its Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar Ansari from the parliamentary party for attending a meeting of opposition parties convened by Congress president Sonia PTI Gandhi. Barely a week after the incident in Lajpat Nagar ~ when three sanitation workers had died while cleaning a sewer ~ two brothers died and their father became critically ill after they inhaled toxic gases while cleaning clogged sewer line at Aggarwal Fun City Mall in Anand Vihar in the Capital on Saturday. A firefighter, involved in the rescue operation, also inhaled the toxic fumes and was admitted to the hospital, police said. Yusuf, 50, and his two sons ~ Jahangir, 24, and Izaz, 22 ~ collapsed while cleaning the sewer, police said. As they did not come out of the sewer for a long time, the police and the fire department were informed. One of the firemen, Mahipal, who had entered the sewer, also inhaled the toxic fumes and collapsed, police said. All the four were rushed to the Hedgewar Hospital, where Jahangir was declared brought dead and Izaz died subsequently, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Nupur Prasad said. She added that Yusuf and Mahipal were undergoing treatment at the hospital and their condition was critical. A case has been registered under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code against the management of Aggarwal Fun City Mall at the Anand Vihar police station. "The case has been registered and investigation will reveal the names of person under whose direction the deceased went into the sewage tank. We will interrogate the management of mall and others who were found present at the spot. Also the health of the firefighter and Yusuf will be closely monitored and their statement will be recorded to know the names of people who had hired them," a police official said. A similar incident had occurred in the Capital two months ago, when four sanitation workers had died while being exposed to noxious gases inside a sewer line in Ghitorni. On 6 August, another such incident took place, when three sanitation workers died when they were cleaning a sewer in the Lajpat Nagar area of south Delhi. Kashmir observes total shutdown STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS JAMMU, 12 AUGUST STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE The flag meeting of senior army officials from India and China on Friday at Nathu La in Sikkim which included a detailed discussion on the ongoing Doklam standoff “remained inconclusive,” sources said. At the Border Personnel Meeting (BPM), attended by Major General rank officers from both sides, India insisted that the face-off could be resolved through simultaneous withdrawal of troops by the Indian and Chinese sides, the sources said. The deliberations follow a meeting between brigade commanders of the two sides on 8 August. “The meeting remained inconclusive as the Chinese side insisted on withdrawal of Indian troops from Doklam immediately,” a senior Indian official said. The BPM setup was launched by both AFP NEW DELHI, 12 AUGUST STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Saturday alleged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi were involved in a treasury scam to the tune of Rs 750 crore which was “fraudulently” transferred to the account of a Bhagalpur-based NGO. He demanded a CBI inquiry into the scam and resignation of the CM and his deputy. The authorities investigating theallegedembezzlementofpublic money said the amount was almost the size of Bihar fodder scam in Mr Prasad is an accused. Senior Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar said the Economic Offence Unit (EOU) was investigating the matter. Three separate FIRs have been lodged Dirt and filth cause of deaths: CM Yogi ARCHANA SRIVASTAVA Max.78% TEMPERATURE P 13 Normal life was thrown out of gear in the Kashmir valley on Saturday due to a shutdown call of the separatists against the PIL related to Article 35A, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) swooping at their kin in the terror funding by Pakistan and the Army eliminating terrorists in the valley. There was no response to the call in Jammu and Ladakh. Most business establishments in the valley remained shut in response to the shutdown call. Train services throughout the valley were suspended as a precautionary measure. Few private vehicles were seen plying on the roads but bus services remained paralysed. Movement of transport on Srinagar-Leh and Srinagar-Jammu highway continued as usual. The district authorities of Srinagar imposed restrictions Separatists called for a shutdown against the PIL related to Article 35A in Kashmir on Saturday Most businesses remained shut but there was no response to the call in Jammu and Ladakh Srinagar district authorities imposed restrictions on movement of people downtown as a precaution Security beefed up after a complete shutdown has been called by the joint resistance leadership IANS on Saturday to protect Article 35A that gives special rights to J&K on movement of people downtown as a precautionary measure. The separatists have been releasing statements almost everyday against the NIA particularly after the two sons of Syed Alishah Geelani were summoned by the agency to be questioned in the terror funding by Pakistan. Seven separatists, including the son-inlaw of Geelani, have already been arrested by the NIA. However, the issue of Arti- cle 35A and the Army operation against terrorists has come as a handle for the separatists to instigate the people of Kashmir. The Army has launched the “Operation AllOut” in the valley to eliminate the Pakistan backed terrorists. The shutdown call had no response in Jammu and Ladakh where the people are demanding scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir as the Constitutional provision has given rise to separatist tendencies.
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