AES deaths: CJM orders probe against Harsh Vardhan, Mangal Pandey after 'negligence' complaint

Vikas SV

Patna, June 24: The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Muzaffarpur on Monday ordered an investigation against Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey over a negligence case filed against them in the wake of deaths of over 130 children due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES).

The horror of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome continued unabated in Bihar with latest reports showing that 140 children have died in the state.

Social activist Tamanna Hashmi filed a complaint case against Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and state state health minister Mangal Pandey in a Muzaffarpur court, charging them with negligence that led to deaths of children. The complaint petition said both Vardhan and Pandey failed to discharge their duties to contain the disease.

Also Read | We need answers for a possible solution, SC tells Bihar govt on encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a major cause of AES in India. However, other sources such as bacteria, fungus, parasites, chemicals, toxins and non-infectious agents cannot be ruled out. Muzaffarpur district in Bihar has emerged as the epicentre of the disease's latest outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today sought answers from the Bihar government on the high number of deaths caused due to encephalitis. The court asked the government of Bihar to reply on the adequacy of medicines, button and hygiene.

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