Uttar Pradesh Sports Minister Narad Rai stoked a potential controversy over deaths in relief camps for riot-hit victims in Muzaffarnagar, saying "deaths occur everywhere and in palaces too".
"Deaths of children, adults and elderly are inevitable. It isn't necessary that only those living in camps are dying. People die in palaces too. It isn't that children in our homes don't die. Deaths occur everywhere," Rai said.
Deaths of children, adults and elderly are inevitable: UP minister Narad Rai
The shocking comment came at a time when the SP government is under constant attack over the deaths and difficult conditions in which the people are living in the relief camps.
The controversial comments came just days after the the Akhilesh Yadav government had accepted that 34 children living in relief camps have died in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar and Shamli.
The admission of deaths was based on a report by a high-level official panel formed by the state government to probe the fatalities in relief camps. These deaths took place between September 7 and December 20 when winter chill was increasing.
While 12 children died in the camps, the remaining 22 died in hospitals or nursing homes where they were taken for medical care.
(With PTI inputs)