It was gas from BJP MLA’s firm which killed more than 14 in BHU hospital

By Siddhant Mohan,

Support TwoCircles

While the memories of tragic incident in Gorakhpur which resulted in loss of several children is yet to settle, Sir Sunderlal Hospital at Banaras Hindu University is under legal probe providing poisonous gas to their patients which allegedly resulted in death of over a dozen patients.

As per reports, the poisonous gas which was supplied to the patients had taken the life of at least 14 people in surgery ward of SSH-BHU during the first week of June 2017. The story broke in media that the poisonous gas had killed the patients but the BHU administration claimed that these were usual casualties and only three people lost their life.

Now, in a probe that was conducted in July 2017, it has been reported that the gas supplied in BHU was from the firm which was allegedly had support of one BJP MLA Harsh Bajpai. Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and the Food Safety and Drugs Administration (UP) conducted a joint probe over the deaths and reported that Bajpai’s firm Parerhat Industries Private Limited supplied common surgical anaesthetic agent Nitrous Oxide to the hospital.

It is rather more interesting fact that gas supplied by BJP MLA’s firm was not fit for surgical use as it was labeled as ‘non-pharmacopoeial’. Non-pharmacopoeial drugs and chemical which can only be used for non-medical purposes.

Rate contract letter to Parerhat by BHU (Courtesy – MediaVigil)

Bajpai’s firm also supplied medical oxygen and carbon dioxide. Surprisingly, the firm did not meet the standards to supply life-saving chemicals to the hospital. So the question becomes obvious that how Bajpai got the tender to supply the oxygen?

BHU’s tender for supply of gases for medical purposes came live on June 9, 2016, and it has a shelf life until July 11, 2016. Bajpai’s firm Parerhat Industries Private Limited applied for the tender on July 5, 2016. But it is a fact that Bajpai’s firm got registration certificate from Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals (DGS&D), the ministry of commerce & industry, for industrial oxygen supplies only on July 20, 2016.

It means that Bajpai’s firm was not able to supply any of the gases at the time when the tender was open. In such light, Bajpai’s application for medical supply of all the gases including death-causing Nitrous oxide was invalid.

However, BHU administration awarded the tender to Bajpai’s firm even after he did not complete the criterion of medical supplies of chemicals.

Assistant Commissioner’s response to RTI mentioning that Bajpai’s firm did not have the clearance to produce and supply medical gases. (Courtesy – MediaVigil)

On an RTI application filed by Allahabad High Court advocate Ravindra Singh, KG Gupta the assistant commissioner of Drugs, Allahabad has responded that Bajpai’s firm did not have the valid license to produce and supply medical oxygen and nitrous oxide. But ignoring such facts and rules of the tender filling, BHU administration let the Bajpai’s firm supply the non-pharmacopoeial nitrous oxide.

Rumors inside the BHU campus is prevailing that the close nexus between one BJP leader and MLA, andBHU VC GC Tripathi worked in a way, that the previous gas supplying firm Linde was scrapped from the tender and Bajpai was awarded.

Now, Allahabad High Court has ordered the Director of UP Health and Medical Services to conduct a thorough probe into the matter by a three member team. The ruling came on the petition of one of the BHU’s ex-student leader Bhuvneshwar Dwivedi. Court has also asked the director of health services and BHU administration that under what condition the Bajpai’s firm was awarded the tender.

When contacted BHU administration for the comments, no official was available to comment on the issue. University’s PRO Rajesh Singh said that as the matter is sub-Judice, the university does not hold any comment on the issue. When asked about the grounds on which Bajpai’s firm was awarded the contract, he said, “I do not know much. Will have to look to answer.”

Almost this response came from the every official of BHU administration after the intervention of HIgh Court in the matter. One local journalist Shiv Das is constantly trying to unveil the case matter by matter, but as he said, “We are yet to look into many things. This is simply not understandable that why BHU granted the Bajpai’s firm to supply gas when it did not meet the tender standards?”