Other States

Two AMU doctors have service ‘terminated’ for speaking to the media

Two doctors of Aligarh Muslim University’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JNMCH) alleged on Tuesday that their services had been terminated because they “unofficially” gave statements to the media on the Hathras murder and alleged gang-rape case.

AMU officials said that it was a “routine affair” and had nothing to do with the Hathras case.

Dr. Mohammad Azimuddin Malik said his and his colleague Dr. Obaid Imtiyazul Haque’s services as Casualty Medical Officers (CMO) were terminated by Vice-Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor on Tuesday.

The letter signed by CMO In-Charge Dr. S.A.H Zaidi said the Vice-Chancellor had rejected their appointment to the post of Medical Officer-Emergency and Trauma with immediate effect.

“We understand that ours is a temporary job against leave vacancy, which is renewed every month. My month ended on October 10. Since then, I have been made to understand by seniors that I am supposed to continue. I have been signing on medico-legal cases. If I have been removed with immediate effect, who is going to appear in the cases of the last 10 days?” Dr. Malik asked.

He further said that after his opinion on a forensic lab report was published, he was asked to give a written explanation. “I refused to give any statement [to the media] but when the journalist asked my personal opinion I told her that chances of getting an important finding is more if the sample is collected within four days of the incident than when its collected after 11 days,” he said in the letter.

Dr. Malik alleged that he and Dr. Haque were being targeted because both of them had spoken to the media. He said that he had learnt their In-Charge had been called and reprimanded by the V-C.

He further said the newspaper had wrongly mentioned his designation as Chief Medical Officer. “There is no such post in the JNMCH. There are 11 Casualty Medical Officers and there is one In- Charge,” said Dr. Malik, who has specialised in Ophthalmology this year.

Shafey Kidwai, University spokesperson, said the V-C was reconsidering the decision, and if the CMO In-Charge asked for an extension of their services, it would be considered. “It is a routine affair. Their services are temporary so there is no question of termination or suspension. They were appointed when the cases of COVID-19 were increasing, against leave vacancy. Now that the pressure has eased and some of the regular doctors have resumed duties, their services might not be required. It has nothing to do with the Hathras probe,” said Professor Kidwai.

Sources said the university’s decision to reconsider seemed to be an afterthought because of the medico-legal cases as the rejection from the V-C could only come after the In-Charge had approved of their services for the month.

Dr. Hamza Malik, president of the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA), demanded that the doctors should be “reinstated within 24 hours”, or else the RDA would take a “big decision”. “We have been assured over the phone that they will be reinstated, but we will not relent until we get it in writing,” he said.

In a related development, a Central Bureau of Investigation team quizzed the JNMCH doctors who treated the victim on Monday. Later, they questioned the four accused in the Hathras case at Aligarh Jail on Monday. A senior police official said that one of the accused had claimed to be minor on the basis of his high school marksheet.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 9:00:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/two-amu-doctors-have-service-terminated-for-speaking-to-the-media/article32904827.ece

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