While the Uttar Pradesh government categorically denied that the lack of oxygen was the reason for the deaths of more than 60 children in five days at a hospital in Gorakhpur, the suspended chief of the medical college said that he owned responsibility "for the death of innocent children".
In the last five days at Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, 63 children have died. A committee has been set up to probe the role of the oxygen supplier.
At a joint press conference on Saturday with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh, Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon blamed Dr Rajeev Misra, the medical college principal for thole debacle.
He said that Dr Misra's request for money had reached the administration only on 4 August. And the administration acted immediately and sanctioned the money the next day. The implication was that the hospital had failed to bring the problem with the oxygen suppliers to attention of the administration.
While Dr Misra, who has been suspended now, took responsibility for the death of the children, he contradicted the Yogi Adityanath government's statement. Dr Misra said that the hospital has been asking for funds from the government for a while now.
"The delay (in payments) happened because the funds hadn't come in," Dr Misra said at a press conference after his suspension.
He said that he had written three letters to the government flagging the issue. The first letter, he said, was sent to the government on 3 July.
The government, meanwhile, said that deaths of children in the hospital this year was much lower than previous years due to steps taken by the administration.