FIR Against 19 Villagers Protesting Against AES Deaths In Bihar For Blocking Highway
An FIR has been lodged against 19 people, for protesting over lack of water supply and death of several children due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Harivanshpur village of Vaishali district in Bihar on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, Station House Officer (SHO) of the area confirmed the news, reported, India Today.
As per reports, they blocked NH-22 for three hours on June 18, when they came to know that Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, was on a visit to Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur. While he was returning, they flocked to the highway and blocked traffic for three hours.
Around 131 children have lost their lives due to AES in Bihar, mostly in Muzaffarpur, till June 20. 222 blocks in 12 districts are affected by the disease, especially in Muzaffarpur, Sheohar, Vaishali, and East Champaran.
A villager told a local journalist, “There is an acute shortage of drinking water in the village as all hand-pumps have gone dry. And doctors advise us to give our children drinking water at regular interval to save their life from AES…this is the irony of our life”.
Some people have left their home in nearby villages, due to fear of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome. Most of the people in Harivanshpur village have left their homes or are planning to leave, due to fear of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES). Many families have sent their children to other villages after the outbreak of this deadly disease.
It has been rumoured that the litchi was responsible for an outbreak of this disease, However, Director of the National Research Centre on Litchi, Dr Vishal Nath rubbished the claims, while speaking to India Today, and said, “there is no connection between the outbreak of encephalitis and litchi.”
Locals Hold MLA and MP in captivity
On June 23, the villagers protested and even held LJP legislator, Raj Kumar Sah and MP from Hajipur, Pashupati Kumar Paras, as hostages. The police had to do a lot of cajoling to take the LJP leaders out of the village.