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  4. Misleading, to say least: Govt on Sisodia's statement on L-G denying nod to probe Delhi's oxygen deaths

Misleading, to say least: Govt on Sisodia's statement on L-G denying nod to probe Delhi's oxygen deaths

The Centre clarified that neither Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal nor the Government of India said that deaths due to oxygen shortage should not be probed.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: August 23, 2021 13:18 IST
Delhis Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia talks with
Image Source : PTI

Delhis Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia talks with media person during the Delhi Assembly session.

The government on Friday said that statements made by Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claiming the Centre had asked not to probe deaths due to oxygen shortage, are misleading, to say the least, as per sources.

The Centre clarified that neither Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal nor the Union Government said that deaths due to oxygen shortage should not be probed.

What has been said earlier on June 7, 2021 and repeated again on August 19, 2021 is that a high-level committee constituted as per SC directions, where apart from senior and reputed Doctors, the ACS (Health), GNCTD is also a member, is already looking into the matter, government sources said.

It has submitted its interim report and is working on the final report. The government reiterated that the said committee should be allowed to do its work. Setting up of another committee for the same purpose will only create confusion.

The government has also been advised to follow the directions of Courts in the matter, sources added.

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Earlier in the day, Manish Sisodia said Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has again rejected the Delhi government's proposal to form a panel to "investigate deaths due to oxygen shortage" in the national capital.

No one can deny that Delhi grappled with an oxygen crisis in April and May during the second Covid wave and also no one can deny that people died in the capital due to shortage of oxygen, he said during an online press conference.

"We had resubmitted a file for the constitution of a panel to probe deaths due to oxygen shortage. The L-G is saying that there is no need for that," Sisodia said.

The deputy chief minister said that on one hand, the Centre has been asking states to tell how many people died due to oxygen shortage and on the other, "you have not been allowing us to investigate such deaths".

"Then how will states tell?" he asked.

"That means the Centre deliberately wants us to give in writing that no death occurred due to the shortage of oxygen in the entire country. It will be a big lie. It will be a cruel joke with the families who have lost their loved ones," Sisodia said.

He claimed that the Centre was responsible for oxygen mismanagement in April and May and said whether it was deliberate or a mistake is a matter of investigation.

The Centre will have to accept that it was responsible for the oxygen crisis. People across the entire country bore the brunt of it, Sisodia said.

"People have died due to oxygen shortage in the 21st century, but the Centre is saying these fatalities should not be probed. Why?" he asked.

The deputy chief minister had last week written to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya that it is difficult to ascertain without a probe if there were any oxygen-related deaths during the second Covid wave, and the Delhi government is seeking fresh approval from the LG to form an expert panel for it.

The Delhi government had in June formed a four-member expert committee to look into the deaths due to the shortage of oxygen during the second wave of COVID-19.

The committee was rejected by the L-G.

(With inputs from PTI)

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