Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath has ordered that grand preparations be made for celebrating Janmashtami in the state, IANS reported on Monday. In a communique issued late on Sunday to the Director General of Police Sulkhan Singh, the chief minister said, “Krishna Janmashtami is an important festival and the police should organise it in a traditional and grand way.”

Adityanath said the festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna should be celebrated “with Indian traditions”.

Subsequently, Singh has written to all district police chiefs, superintendents of police in the Railways and commandants of the Provincial Armed Constabulary in Uttar Pradesh to follow the chief minister’s instructions. The Uttar Pradesh Department of Information and Public Relations said that while governments in previous years had avoided grand celebrations of Janmashtami, they would now be revived.

Adityanath’s directive to the police comes days after 63 children died at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital since August 7.

AAP demands murder charges against Adityanath

The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday accused the Uttar Pradesh government of criminal negligence and demanded murder charges against Chief Minister Adityanath. Party leader Sanjay Singh said there was enough evidence at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital to suggest that the deaths were a case of murder due to criminal negligence, PTI reported.

He said that the chief minister, health minister and other officials knew that the company supplying liquid oxygen to the hospital was not being paid. “Despite that, if the oxygen supply arrangements were not made...it is clearly a case of criminal negligence and murder of innocent children,” Singh said.

The party criticised the state government’s plans to celebrate the festival. “This is ironical, tragic and in some ways reflective of the mindset of powers that be,” AAP spokesman Vaibhav Maheshwari said. “They will go ahead with their agenda even in the wake of tragedies of such magnitude.”