Hathras controversy: Two days after termination, AMU doctor duo called back to service

The order ending the contract of the two doctors — Dr Mohamnad Azeemudin and Dr Obaid Imtiaz — was issued by Chief Medical Officer S A Zaidi on Tuesday, a day after the CBI team probing the gang-rape and death case visited the hospital.

Two doctors from Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), who were asked to leave Aligarh Muslim University, have been called back after two days of termination.

One of the doctors, Dr Azeem Malik, had earlier told The Indian Express that the FSL report in the Hathras woman’s case held “no value”. He had alleged that he and his colleague were “terminated” because they spoke to the media about the crime.

Along with Dr Malik, Dr Obaid Haque’s appointment was also rejected by the hospital. Dr Haque had attested the woman’s medico-legal report.

On Thursday, AMU spokesperson Omar Peerzada said: “As per requirement put forward by the CMO in-charge, Dr Malik and Dr Haque have been called back to offer service to the hospital. We are going through challenging times because of the pandemic and need doctors.”

An official at the hospital said, “The JNMC has Covid facility and we need doctors because another medical officer took leave recently. The two have been appointed for another month; we will see if there’s a requirement after that.”

Dr Malik and Dr Haque told The Indian Express that they have not received an order from the hospital about their services.

Dr Haque said: “I was told to go home, but yesterday my senior called up and told me to come to the hospital. He said he needs to take leave due to health issues; I told him I can’t come to the hospital without the V-C’s order, but he requested that I take his place for the day and promised that our seniors would take us back. I haven’t received a joining letter yet, but I went and completed my duty.”

Earlier, citing the FSL report, state ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar had told the media 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, the two were issued letters, signed by CMO in-charge Dr S A H Zaidi, which stated, “This is to inform you that as directed by Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor…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.

While the doctors alleged they were told to go because they spoke to the media, Shafey Kidwai, 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…f CMO recommends their extension, the university may consider it.”

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