New Delhi: The Centre has ordered an inquiry into the deaths of three children, including a toddler, in the national capital, reportedly due to starvation, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Thursday.
Three sisters, aged two, four, and eight, were found dead in east Delhi’s Mandawali area on Tuesday. The girls were brought to the LBS Hospital in Mayur Vihar by their mother and her friend. The hospital authorities later declared them brought dead.
The initial post-mortem report attributed it to “malnourishment/starvation and its complications,” prompting the AAP government to order a magisterial probe into the matter.
Terming the incident “extremely shocking and tragic”, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has also sought a report on the deaths from the police and district administration by Friday. The commission has issued notices to the station house officer of Manadawali and sub-divisional magistrate of Preet Vihar (East district).
In the report, the DCW has sought details of the circumstances that led to the deaths and the health status of the parents.
Meanwhile, official sources refuted claims by some AAP leaders that the state government’s proposed doorstep delivery of ration scheme would have averted such a tragedy, saying the family was not eligible for subsidised ration as it did not have a ration card.
The AAP government has been alleging that the lieutenant-governor is not allowing it to implement the scheme.
The sources said it is up to the state government to fix eligibility criteria for ration card beneficiaries. The responsibility of food distribution also lies with the state government, they added.
The NHRC also issued notices to the Delhi government and the WCD (women and child development) ministry over the deaths, asking them to send reports in four weeks.
The Delhi chief secretary and the secretary of WCD have also been asked by the commission to submit a status report on the Antodhya Anna Yojana — a Central government sponsored scheme to provide highly subsidised food to the poorest families.
The city government ordered a magisterial probe into the matter even as BJP and Congress attacked AAP over the incident.