A doctor at Aligarh Muslim University’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, who had earlier this month told The Indian Express that the FSL report in the Hathras woman’s case “holds no value”, was asked Tuesday “not to perform any further duties”.
Apart from Dr Azeem Malik, another doctor, Obaid Haque, has also been issued a similar letter by the hospital. Dr Haque had attested the woman’s medico-legal case report.
Citing the FSL report, Uttar Pradesh ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar had earlier told a press conference that the 19-year-old Dalit woman was not raped.
Dr Malik had, however, told The Indian Express: “The samples for FSL were collected 11 days after the woman was raped, while the government guidelines strictly say forensic evidence can only be found up to 96 hours after the incident. This report can’t confirm rape in this incident.”
On Tuesday morning, Dr Malik and Dr Haque received letters signed by the CMO in-charge Dr SAH Zaidi which stated: “This is to inform you that as directed by the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Tariq Mansoor via telephone on 20.10.2020 at 11:14 am, your appointment on the post of Medical Officer, Emergency & Trauma, JNMCH, is rejected with immediate effect. Therefore, you are requested not to perform any further duties.”
The AMU administration, when contacted, said: “The administration has not suspended any doctor related to Hathras incident. Two months back, there were vacancies because existing CMOs took leave. Few of them were infected with Covid. There was an emergency and the two doctors — Dr Malik and Dr Haque — were only appointed to fill the ‘leave vacancies’. Now that the CMOs are back, there are no leave vacancies, hence their services are not required.”
Later in the evening, the AMU administration said: “It has come to our notice that the doctors aren’t happy with the decision. We are looking into their grievances and they might be adjusted somewhere else in the hospital.”
Shafey Kidwai, professor at the department of mass communication and member in-charge of public relations at AMU, said: “The university has not suspended any doctor for giving interview related to the Hathras incident to the media. The two doctors worked on leave vacancy and their terms expired on October 8, but the doctors attended the hospital and signed on some medico-legal cases. Hence, if CMO recommends their extension, the university may consider it.”
Dr Haque said: “I was last paid in August. We were hired because our seniors weren’t well. That time, we were told to join immediately. I did my Master’s in surgery from AMU and graduated this year. I worked during the pandemic and risked my life and now they have terminated us because Dr Malik spoke to the media and they think that I leaked information. I am still not sure why I am being targeted. Three days ago, I came to know that my appointment will be rejected. We still don’t have a written statement from the Vice-Chancellor about this… This is sad, we didn’t do anything wrong.” The MLC attested by Dr Haque had, under “provisional opinion”, referred to “signs of use of force”.
Dr Malik, when contacted, also said he wasn’t given last month’s salary and was “scolded” by his seniors because he had given his “personal opinion” to the media.
“Earlier I was scolded but they didn’t do anything. Late in September, I had filed my application for an extension, but they have rejected it a month later. We have been terminated and they have not given us any reason,” he said.
V-C Tariq and chief medical superintendent Dr Shahid Ali Siddiqui did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment. A senior doctor at the hospital said the two doctors will get their salaries once formalities are completed.
The Dalit woman, assaulted and allegedly raped by four upper caste men on September 14, was admitted to the AMU hospital for two weeks. She regained consciousness at the hospital on September 22, and recorded a statement saying she had been raped. She died at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on September 29.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines