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“Aimed To Suppress Independent Voices”: AMU Resident Doctors Over Sacking Of Colleagues Who Contradicted Police Version Of Hathras Case

Two doctors at the JN Medical College in Aligarh Muslim University- Dr Mohammad Azimuddin Malik and Dr Obaid Imtiazyul Haque have been removed from their posts. One of the doctors had recently publicly contradicted the UP Police version of the Hathras gang rape and murder case, while the other had signed a few reports about her.

Resident doctors of the medical college have demanded from the university to restore the services of two doctors who were sacked on Tuesday.

Dr Azeem Malik had earlier told the Indian Express that the FSL report in the Hathras woman’s case “holds no value”. “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, he was told, “not to perform any further duties”.

Dr Obaid Haque was also issued a similar letter by the university hospital. Dr Haque had attested the woman’s medico-legal case report.

Dr Malik’s statement had contradicted Uttar Pradesh ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar who, citing the FSL report, had earlier told a press conference in Lucknow that the Dalit woman was not raped.

Malik told The Wire that the vice-chancellor of the university scolded Chief Medical Superintendent Shahid Siddiqui the day after Malik’s statement came out in the press. “The VC had called the principal, and scolded him,” Malik said. “We had got an indication that day that we will have to face the wrath in some form. There was nothing wrong in giving statements to the press. Ask any doctor, they will say the same thing as me. But it is happening probably because it made headlines.”

A letter sent by the Resident Doctors Association to the vice-chancellor of AMU on Wednesday, reads, “We have strong reasons to believe that this is a decision influenced by vendetta politics aimed to suppress independent voices. RDA is determined to protect the rights of doctors.”

However, AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai maintained that the termination of the doctors’ services was not unusual. Kidwai said: “Dr Azeem has been working on leave vacancy whose term expired on October 8, hence the question of termination of his service does not arise. Casual Medical officer is group one service and the temporary appointment can not be made since there were many Covid-19 patients. Now with improved situation the ad hoc appointment of two more doctors, Dr Obaid and Dr Faheem was not approved.”

But the resident doctors are not convinced. According to reports, if the two doctors are not reinstated, the resident doctors may go on strike, Clarion India reported.

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