In a massive development amid the rising death toll of children in Muzaffarpur due to the outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), the Supreme Court on Monday pulled Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government and the Centre and asked to submit a response on the deaths within seven days (July 1).
Due to the inadequacy of the Bihar government in the treatment of the children, lack of nutrition and sanitation conditions in the hospitals, a Supreme Court bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai has directed the Bihar government to file an affidavit in the matter.
During the hearing, one of the lawyers informed the court that similar deaths had occurred earlier in Uttar Pradesh, news agency PTI reported.
Taking note of the same, the court has directed the Bihar government to file a response. Meanwhile the matter has been posted for hearing after 10 days in the apex court.
This development has come two days after Republic investigative team discovered human skeletal remains behind SKMC Hospital in Muzaffarpur, Bihar amid encephalitis outbreak. The visuals showed the skull and limbs of the skeletal behind the premises of Muzaffarpur hospital. While the principal of the medical college said that a report in the matter has been sent to Muzaffarpur District Magistrate who suggested that the skeletal belonged to animals, Bihar Health Ministry was forced to order a probe into the matter.
The outbreak of AES has taken away lives of 181 (as of June 24) children in the state. The state administration, however, is clueless about the reason that causes such a deadly disease. While the administration putting shifting the blame of increasing deaths on excessive heat and humidity, hypoglycemia, eating litchis on an empty stomach, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Sushil Modi have been silent about the Encephalitis outbreak.