New Delhi: A PIL was filed against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday, allegedly blaming him for the death of over 109 children in Muzaffarpur, Bihar due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). Besides, CM Kumar, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey, MoS Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Choubey were also named in PIL.
The Petitioner has sought the Supreme Court‘s urgent intervention claiming negligence of the state authorities. Further, it demanded compensation for the deaths. The matter will be heard in the Supreme Court on June 26.
The petition comes hours after Kumar visited Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur and asked authorities to conduct intensive research and analysis into the environmental cause of the disease.
The petition stated that there is a “complete failure of state machinery” and the constant negligence of the State has caused a violation of Right to Life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The petition also stated that due to a lack of sufficient facilities and trained professionals, medical professionals are incapable of controlling the deaths.
On Monday, a case was registered against the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Panday for not raising adequate awareness in the state about the brain fever that claims lives every year.
The plea by the social activist Tamanna Hashmi had alleged that both had done nothing to create awareness and sensitize people in the affected areas despite the fact that AES had been killing children for years.
Earlier in the day, several activists from different organisations had staged a protest outside the Bihar Bhawan demanding Kumar’s resignation.