Lucknow: No one has been named in a First Information Report (FIR) lodged in the deaths of four infants during a routine immunisation drive in Lucknow, police said on Sunday.
Lucknow Deputy Inspector General of Police Rajiv Krishna said: “The family welfare department has chosen to file an unnamed FIR. Let us see what emerges out in the police investigation.”
Strangely, this comes close on the heels of the suspension of at least half a dozen officials belonging to the health and family welfare departments. These include, a medical officer and a paramedic detailed to carry out routine vaccination against measles, TB and vitamin A deficiency in the Mohanlalganj area on the outskirts of the city.
While the entire drive was suspended on Saturday within hours of the death of four infants in three different villages located in close proximity, people in distant villages have become apprehensive of what was being referred to as “zehreela teeka” (poisonous vaccine).
Loud wails of family members and neighbours could be heard through the night and even the whole of Sunday morning, when the bodies of the four children were taken for their last rites.
While the autopsy on the bodies was carried out on Saturday, the report is yet to be released.
“They gave her some poisonous vaccine, otherwise how could my daughter just collapse within minutes of receiving the dose? I had only two daughters and now I am left with one,” a wailing Kanta, the young mother of 9-month-old Rekha, told IANS.
“My child got unconscious shortly after she was vaccinated but there was no doctor present at the immunisation camp. A phone call was made to the doctor, who took more than an hour to arrive and to declare her dead,” she said.
Her neighbour Shiv Kanti, the hapless mother of 10-month-old Sahil, who also met his end in Saturday’s tragedy, was weeping inconsolably “Sahil was my only son among three children. Now where will I get a son from?”
Sahil’s grandfather, Maiku Lal, who is known for motivating illiterate villagers to go for immunsation of their little ones, has now turned firmly against any kind of vaccination.
“This is all bunk. How can you gamble with the lives of your children? I will never ask anyone to take his child for immunsation now,” he remarked.