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>> The head of an Indian hospital where dozens of children have died in recent days has been suspended as officials trade blame over cash shortfalls that led to supplies of medical oxygen being cut. Rajesh Mishra, head of the state-run BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, was suspended as officials in the state of Uttar Pradesh ordered an investigation.
Indian media reported the deaths of at least 72 children were caused, in part, by oxygen shortages after a private supplier cut the supply over unpaid bills. Hospital officials deny lack of oxygen caused the deaths, saying alternative supplies were found. Instead, blaming many of the deaths on encephalitis and unspecified issues related to delivery of the infants.
A representative for Narendra Modi's cabinet said the prime minister was monitoring developments and that the federal government was ready to send more assistance. However, the issue of the unpaid bills for oxygen supply has become a flash point in relations between the hospital and the state government. The suspended hospital chief has accused state officials of not answering his requests for money, a claim that's been denied.
Opposition parties have stepped up the pressure on the state government demanding resignations.