As many as 100 infants died at the government-run hospital in December 2019 and the six additional deaths took place in January 2020.
Sharat KumarKota (Rajasthan)January 3, 2020UPDATED: January 3, 2020 19:48 IST
Family members and relatives of infant children wait outside JK Lon Hospital in Kota district, Rajasthan on Thursday, Jan 2, 2020. (Photo: PTI)
After two more infants died on Friday at the JK Lon hospital in Rajasthan’s Kota, the death toll has now increased to 106, officials said. As many as 100 infants died at the government-run hospital in December 2019 and the six additional deaths took place in January 2020.
The state government claimed that in the period 2014 to 2019, the death toll in 2019 had been the lowest.
The BJP, on the other hand, demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on moral grounds over the deaths of infants in Kota.
The BJP, on the directions of its working president JP Nadda, sent a three-member committee of its MPs to the Kota hospital this week to take stock of the situation.
The committee that visited JK Lon hospital claimed there was administrative laxity and asked CM Ashok Gehlot and health minister to visit Kota to take necessary action.
The family members of several young children who spoke to India Today TV earlier claimed severe crunch of staff, shortage of medical equipment and doctors not responding in a timely manner as some of the reasons behind the shoddy state of affairs at the hospital.
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued a notice to the Rajasthan government over the issue.
The NHRC, in a statement, said it has issued a notice to the chief secretary, seeking a detailed report in the matter within four weeks. The commission said the notice was issued to ensure that such incidents do not recur in future.
The Rajasthan CM received massive backlash from the central government and leaders such as BSP chief Mayawati. However, Ashok Gehlot cited that the number of deaths has come down compared to previous years and the issue should not be politicised.
Defending his government, Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, a senior state cabinet minister, told India Today on Friday that not even one person will be spared, if they were negligent.
“See, I agree with you on one thing, that we do not want to go on statistics. If there were more deaths during the tenure of the BJP government, then it is not a good thing for us. If there were more deaths at that time, then it is our responsibility to stop the deaths now,” Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, Rajasthan cabinet minister said.
“If the BJP could not do anything, then, it is our duty to perform well and I can give you assurance that there is no need to doubt our intention, [even if] life goes but we can say with guarantee that not even one person will be spared if someone has been negligent,” he added.