NATIONAL

AIIMS Director resumes charge

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Hours after the Supreme Court ordered his reinstatement as Director of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here, cardio-thoracic surgeon P. Venugopal returned to his office to resume duty. He was accompanied by the Institute’s resident doctors and faculty members.

Dr. Venugopal, who was appointed Institute Director for a five-year term on July 3, 2003, was forced to step down last November.

He thanked everyone present but opted not to speak to the media. A senior physician to read out his statement where he expressed his desire to continue serving the Institute.

Celebrating what they called “a hard-fought victory”, AIIMS Faculty Association president Binod Khaitan said: “We are, of course happy, with the return of Dr. Venugopal and demand that the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Anbumani Ramadoss resign on moral grounds. The Minister has tried to destroy the autonomy of a prestigious medical institute.”

Stating that “this was not a personal fight,” Dr. Khaitan said Dr. Venugopal had become a symbol of the autonomy of the Institute.

Welcoming the Court order, AIIMS Resident Doctors Association president Kumar Harsh said: “We will celebrate this day as Diwali. It is a big victory for the Institute.”

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