The Bihar government has cancelled the contract agreement of 18 specialist doctors who failed to join duty in different prisons in the State.

According to a notice issued by the State Home department a show cause notice was served on the doctors seeking clarification on their absence from service. The department, however, did not get a satisfactory response and the physicians were removed and their contracts cancelled.

A large number of doctors were reportedly sacked in July this year. B.P.C. Singh, Director Industries, Prisons, told The Hindu that many doctors sought appointments in their home districts.

He denied reports of fear among the medical fraternity following last year’s incident where a doctor was beaten to death by a criminal. “That was a one-off incident and there was some personal enmity. There is no such looming fear,” he said.

The State government has begun the process of reappointment of specialists.