Aligarh: The Aligarh Muslim University has said that it will extend the tenure of two Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College doctors, whose services were terminated, reportedly for their remarks in connection with the gang rape and death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras.
“On the request of the Chief Medical officer of the hospital, received on Wednesday, the university has given its nod to the proposal to extend the tenure of the two doctors,” AMU spokesperson Omar Saleem Peerzada told PTI over phone from Aligarh on Thursday.
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.
Resident doctors at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Aligarh had also demanded the reinstatement of two colleagues.
The letter signed by RDA president Mohammad Hamza Malik and general secretary Mohammad Kaashif stated that the action against the two doctors smacked of “vendetta politics” and was aimed at muzzling the right to freedom of expression.
The AMU authorities had denied the allegations of termination as “highly speculative” and said the two doctors were engaged “on a temporary one-month vacancy from September 9”.
The two doctors told reporters on Tuesday that “they were quite taken aback by this step because they had not been given a chance to present their view to the authorities.”
In response to a query by reporters, the two doctors had hinted that they might have paid a price for giving their opinion to some journalists who had visited the hospital in connection to the Hathras case.
The 19-year-old woman, who was brutally assaulted and gang raped by four men, was under treatment at the hospital before being referred to Delhi. She died at a Delhi hospital later.
As The Wire had reported, Dr. Azeem Malik’s statement that the FSL (forensic science laboratory) report – samples for which were taken 11 days after the October 14 assault – held no value directly contradicted Additional Director General (Law and Order), Prashant Kumar’s statement, who had said the FSL report showed there were no traces of sperm and hence proved that no rape took place.
Dr Azeem Malik, one of the two doctors who have been fired, had earlier told The Wire, “There was nothing wrong in giving statements to the press. Ask any doctor, they will say the same thing as me. But it [the backlash] is happening probably because it made headlines.”
Meanwhile, President of the Progressive Medicos and Scientific Forum (PMSF) Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti also wrote to the AMU Vice Chancellor, demanding the “revocation of the termination order of two the Medical officers”.
The letter, which was sent by mail on Thursday, states that it appears that the two doctors have “paid the price for providing factually correct and scientifically sound information pertaining to the samples of the Hathras rape victim ”
(With PTI inputs)