The National Human Rights Commission on Wednesday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government after media reports claimed that a ward boy at a government-run primary health centre in Sarai Gopi village of Barabanki district works as a doctor and pharmacist at times.

The commission sought a detailed report from Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar within four weeks. The panel quoted media reports that said locals no longer visited the health centre as it had no facilities. The doctor posted at the centre visits it every fortnight and the pharmacist is absent most of the time, it added.

“The negligence of the public servants poses grave threat to the lives of the people coming for treatment at the health centre,” the NHRC said. “This is a case of gross violation of right to life of the innocent people.”

The ward boy – Arvind Srivastava – has denied the allegations. “I do not hand out medicines to anyone,” he told News 18. “The doctor is on leave as someone has passed away in her family. My job is to provide first-aid.”

The chief medical officer of the district is reportedly conducting an inquiry, the NHRC said, adding that action will be taken against the doctor and the pharmacist if the allegations were found to be true.