After the news of the sacking of two doctors of Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, allegedly because they spoke to the media about the investigations into the hathras rape case, university officials may be in damage control mode. The official line adopted by the AMU authorities is that the two doctors were engaged “on a temporary one-month vacancy” and their removal was routine. However, if the doctors were appointed for a month since September 9, the authorities have not explained why they remained in the appointment way past October 9, when it should have automatically terminated.
According to a report in The Hindu, the sacked medic, Dr. Mohammad Azimuddin Malik said he and his colleague Dr. Obaid Imtiyazul Haque’s services as casualty medical officers were terminated by Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor on Tuesday October 20. According to the news report the termination letter signed by CMO-in-charge S.A.H. Zaidi said the V-C had “rejected” their appointment to the post of medical officer, emergency and trauma, with immediate effect.
According to NDTV the two who questioned FSL ‘no rape’ claim in the Hathras rape and murder case were removed from post in AMU medical college soon after a
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team’s visit. However,the AMU authorities have denied the allegations as “highly speculative” and said the two doctors were engaged “on a temporary one-month vacancy from September 9”.
Dr Malik told the media that they “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?”
In the Hathras case, after the Uttar Pradesh administration, Police denied that the woman was raped, and quoted a forensic report stating there were no traces of sperm in the victim’s body. Dr Malik had countered that. According to a report in The Hindustan Times, he had said that medical tests were conducted too late to conclude that the woman had not been raped. He also questioned the gap between the date of the crime, September 14, and the date the tests were conducted, September 22. The forensic science laboratory had received the samples on September 25.
Dr. Malik is quoted by the news report saying that after his opinion on the forensic lab report in the rape-murder case was published, he was asked to give a written explanation. “I refused to give any statement but when a 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 it’s collected after 11 days,” he said in the letter.
He alleged that he and Dr. Haque were being targeted because they spoke to the media. The Hindu reports quote him as stating that he had learnt that their in-charge was also called and reprimanded by the V-C and added that said the newspaper even wrongly mentioned his designation as “Chief Medical Officer”. “There is no such post in JNMCH. There are 11casualty medical officers and there is one in-charge,” said Dr. Malik, an ophthalmologist.
Meanwhile the AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai told the media that the V-C was reconsidering the decision, and if the CMO in-charge asked for an extension of their services, it would be taken up. Professor Kidwai called it “It is a routine affair. Their services are temporary so there is no question of termination or suspension.” He added that the doctors 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”.
While such ‘reconsiderations’ are usually afterthoughts, support for the two doctor is coming in from medics across the country
AMU VC terminated two doctors who allegedly expressed their views to media persons on samples of #Hathras rape victim. Once again drs are made scapegoats for gross mismanagement & incompetence of UP govt & police. We demand immediate revocation of their termination. pic.twitter.com/uooIY3O06t
— Harjit Singh Bhatti (@DrHarjitBhatti) October 21, 2020
Hamza Malik, president, Resident Doctors’ Association, demanded that the two 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 would not relent until we get it in writing,” he told the media and the RDA issued this statement:.
In a related development, stated news reports, the CBI team quizzed the JNMCH doctors who treated the rape-murder victim, on Monday. They also questioned the four accused in the Hathras case at Aligarh Jail.
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