The Bihar Post

Bihar court orders investigations against health ministers in encephalitis death case

The disease has claimed over 150 lives of children in Muzaffarpur district alone so far


PATNA: A local court in Bihar has ordered an investigation into the alleged case of negligence against two health officials—Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and state health minister Mangal Pandey—in the death of children from suspected encephalitis.

The chief judicial magistrate, Muzaffarpur, Suryakant Tiwari asked additional chief judicial magistrate to investigate the case while acting on a petition filed against the health ministers by a local social activist Tamanna Hashmi.

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In the complaint petition filed in the CJM court on June 17, Hashmi had alleged both the ministers shirked from the responsibility of creating an awareness campaign in the region and sensitize the masses in the affected areas despite the fact that the disease has been routinely striking every year.

The disease has claimed more than 150 children so far this year. Most of the deaths have been reported from Muaffarpur district.

Reports said although a total of 20 districts are affected with the disease, nine have reported deaths of children. The districts affected by suspected encephalitis include Muzaffarpur, East Champaran, Vaishali, Samastipur, Sitamarhi, Aurangabad, Banka, begusarai, Bhagalpur, Bhojpur, Darbhanga, Gaya, Jehanabad, Kishanganj, Nalanada, West Champaran, Patna, Purnia, Sheohar and Supaul.

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