Gorakhpur tragedy: Wife of ‘suspended’ BRD Principal called the shots at college, alleges successor
Dr A K Srivastava, who was transferred as the Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of the Gorakhpur-based BRD Medical College after the death of 62 children within days, has accused the wife of suspended college principal Dr Rajeev Mishra of calling the shots at the hospital, says a report in The Indian Express.
Mishra, who was suspended for his "irresponsible act" of allegedly delaying payment to the supplier of oxygen cylinders, tendered his resignation from the post taking the moral responsibility for the recent deaths.
The report cited Srivastava alleging that Mishra’s wife Dr Purnima Shukla interfered in all administrative decisions.
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“She had complete say on posting of the staff through outsourcing, transfer and promotions in the medical college, though files were formally signed by her husband. If inquiry is conducted into postings, transfers and promotions done at the college in the past one year, her role would be established,” Dr Srivastava was quoted by The Indian Express as saying.
He also said Shukla dictated the tenders of the college too, ever since Mishra took over as principal in January 2016.
Meanwhile, Purnima Shukla denied the allegations saying that “no professional these days has time to interfere in other’s office. But there should be no objection to helping or supporting anyone”.
“Dr Srivastava should not make such allegations because Dr Saheb (Mishra) has done a lot for him,” she added.
When asked about the reason behind the delay in payment to the oxygen supplier, Shukla said, “Approval for funds and transfer of money to the districts takes time. Process for payment had been initiated at 11.59 am on August 8. But, he (Mishra) got busy with preparations for the visit of the Chief Minister, scheduled on August 9. After that, he left for Rishikesh to attend a meeting following a directive of the state government. But he came back Saturday morning after the deaths of the children”.
‘Suspended’ principal claims he wrote several letters to release oxygen dues
On the other hand, suspended principal Dr Rajeev Mishra has claimed that he had written several letters to top officials requesting the release of funds to be paid to the oxygen supplier, but no prompt action was taken, according to a Times of India report.
He also claimed that he had forwarded the reminders sent by the vendor regarding immediate payment of the dues.
“I wrote at least three letters to the health department on July 3, 19 and August 1. I had attached reminders from the Lucknow-based vendor in my letters,” Mishra was quoted by Times of India as saying.
He said that he had even discussed the issue over video-conferencing with officials in Lucknow but only his last letter on August 1 was being referred to.
The supplier’s demand for dues to the tune of Rs 65 lakh reached the state government at Lucknow on August 1, and the funds were released to the college on August 5. However, the payment was done on August 11, after the children’s deaths grabbed the national headlines.
He wondered where the delay was, considering the long processes involved in government payments.