The principal of Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial (GSVM) Medical College in Kanpur was removed from her post on Thursday, four days after the controversy over a viral video in which she purportedly referred to members of the Tablighi Jamaat who tested positive for Covid-19, saying that the government is appeasing and wasting resources on them.
Sources said Principal Secretary (Medical Education) Rajneesh Dube had earlier sought a report from Kanpur District Magistrate (DM) Brahm Dev Tiwari in this regard, after which action was taken against the principal, Arati Dave Lalchandani. They further said Lalchandani would serve as principal of Maharani Laxmi Bai Medical College (MLB) Medical College in Jhansi, and Professor R B Kamal would replace her.
However, this is yet to be officially confirmed.
In the nearly 5-minute video, which is claimed to be about two months old, Lalchandani can be heard saying “these people are terrorists but are provided VIP treatment”, and that the hospital has to exhaust its resources, put doctors at risk and pay hotel bills for “these people”. Referring to the hospital admission of “these people” as appeasement, she is heard saying said they should be handled more strictly.
When contacted by The Indian Express, Lalchandani claimed the video was morphed by a journalist in Kanpur, who was trying to use the video to extort money and get favours from her.
Claiming that she has never used words like Tablighi or Muslims in the video, she said she would get an FIR registered against the journalist.
She later added she was angry with the fact that a lot of Tablighis were found positive in the district, and instead of an L-1 hospital, they were sent to the medical college where they were allegedly not cooperating with the staff and doctors.
No first information report (FIR) has been registered against the journalist yet.
On May 31, Lalchandani had confirmed that Dube had spoken with her regarding the video and that she had presented her side to him. While Tiwari said he does not have any information about a transfer, Dube could not be reached via phone.
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