Bihar CM faces public wrath outside hospital

Nitish Kumar Faces Protests

Muzaffarpur, June 18: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was greeted with a barrage of protests outside the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) here on Tuesday.

The CM had gone there in order to review the situation after more than 100 children died due to suspected Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) ovre the past few days.

A large number of people, mainly comprising relatives of the children and villagers, shouted “Nitish Kumar wapas jao” and waved black flags when the CM's convoy arrived at the hospital.

Nitish Kumar, at last after 19 days, found time to visit the ailing and dying children. The toll has now crossed 133.

There has been a health crisis in the state and the deaths are mostly occurring in the northern part of Bihar and the children belong to very poor families.

There was a big rush when Nitish Kumar visited the hospital. The aggrieved and agitated relatives of the patients wanted to meet their chief minister. Some had sheets of medical reports clutched in their fists, some wailing and crying mothers were desperate to talk to their CM as if their god has come and he will now save their dying children.  Their restlessness soon converted into a protest and within minutes their yearning looks changed into harsh and loud slogans of "Go back chief minister".

A scathing attack was made against the chief minister by former chief minister and RJP supremo Lalu Yadav's wife Rabri Devi. She alleged that the chief minister was sleeping when the press conference on the increasing deaths in Muzaffarpur was taking place. Where is the Ayushman Yojana, she asked.

According to latest reports, the death numbers have already crossed 133 children have lost their lives due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur. The city awaited with bated breath for chief minister, Nitish Kumar, also called 'Sushan Babu'. At last, their wait has ended and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar arrived at SKMCH Hospital in Muzaffarpur.

 Actually, the CM"s hands were too full, attending and meeting important personalities in the national capital. Now that he is back he found time to see the hapless and unfortunate children who are succumbing to the deadly disease in dozens every day.In the wake of fatalities due to AES, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had earlier announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to families of the deceased.

He had also given directions to the Health Department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures to fight the disease.

AES is a viral disease, which causes mild flu-like symptoms such as high fever, convulsions, and headaches.

Last week, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey had said a team that was formed to ascertain the cause of this disease concluded that sleeping empty stomach at night, dehydration due to humidity and eating lychee on empty stomach were some of the causes of encephalitis.

According to reports, litchi induces a deadly metabolic illness which is called hypoglycemic encephalopathy. This disease is affecting mostly children who take poor diet and are undernourished.

News24 Bureau

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