Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann Thursday accepted the resignation of Dr Raj Bahadur as the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, 12 days after the renowned spinal surgeon had put in his papers.
The CM, after accepting the resignation, forwarded it to Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is also the Chancellor of all state universities. The state government has, meanwhile, given the charge of the university V-C to the director, medial education, as of now, an official source said.
Dr Raj Bahadur had tendered his resignation on July 30 after Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra forced him to lie down on a dirty mattress while inspecting a ward at Faridkot’s Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, which comes under the university.
A video clip of the incident was shared widely on social media in which Jouramajra was seen placing a hand on the veteran surgeon’s shoulder while pointing towards the “damaged and dirty condition” of a mattress at the hospital. Later, another video in which the minister was showing unmoved grass to the VC had also gone viral.
After the incident, Dr Raj Bahadur had said that he felt “humiliated” and requested the CM that he be relieved from service.
The incident had triggered an outrage and various doctors’ bodies, including the Indian Medical Association, flayed the health minister over his behaviour and demanded his dismissal from the state Cabinet
Mann twice tried to convince Dr Raj Bahadur to withdraw his resignation. He called him on the day of the incident. Later also, Mann had called him and urged him to forget the incident and work with him for the betterment of the state’s health sector. The CM had also snubbed Jouramajra while stating that the incident should have been handled in a better way. He had also said that it was not the V-C, who was responsible for dirty mattress.
Later while meeting MLAs, the CM had asked them to be civil with the government officials and stop being activists and conducting surprise checks.
Sources said that Dr Raj Bahadur had dug in his heels over the resignation. The Chief Minister’s Office too had called Dr Raj Bahadur and asked him to resume duties. But he is learnt to have asked the CM to relieve him immediately.
Dr Raj Bahadur was in Mohali when he had learnt about Jouramajra’s suddent visit to Faridkot hospital on July 30. He then rescheduled a surgery to reach Faridkot to take up issues of the university.