Gorakhpur tragedy: Principal says he resigned before suspension order, blames Adityanath govt for releasing money late | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

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Dr Rajeev Kumar Mishra, the principal of Baba Raghav Das Medical College, who was suspended on Saturday following the death of 36 infants, has resigned from his post. Furthermore, Mishra has countered the charges made by the Yogi Adityanath-led state government with regard to payment to Pushpa Sales, the oxygen supplier.

Mishra said that he it was his moral responsibility to resign from the post of principal. He had sent his resignation letter – a copy is in DNA’s possession – to the Director General, Pension Directorate on Saturday.

The former principal of BRD Medical College also claimed that he was unaware of his suspension by state medical education minister Ashutosh Tandon. “I have not received any suspension order till now. I had resigned even before the minister had ordered my suspension. You may check with the department,” he said.

On charges levelled against him by the state government, Dr Mishra said that he was not responsible for delay in making payments. He blamed the state government for releasing the budget late. He also contradicted Chief Minister’s claims that his government had released Rs 2 crore on August 5 to clear dues of the supplier.

“I had written letters to the state government on July 16, 19 and again on August 1 requesting them to release budget for clearing dues of Pushpa Sales. Even during a video-conferencing in July, I had raised the issue and reminded the special secretary for making available funds to clear dues. But they did not release budget in time. Why am I to be blamed?” he said.

On charges that he left Gorakhpur without taking permission and informing anyone, Mishra said that he went on an official visit to Rishikesh after taking permission from the Director-General Medical Education.

On government charges of holding him responsible for short supply of gas, Dr Mishra clarified that he got a call from the hospital at 10 pm when he was in Rishikesh. “When I inquired about the emergency stock, they told me that 78 cylinders were in stock. I immediately directed them to arrange more for uninterrupted oxygen supply till I returned,” he said.

Dr Mishra also denied media reports that deaths of children were because short supply of oxygen.