SC panel pulls up AIIMS admin for not acting on Thorat Panel

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New Delhi, Dec 8 (UNI) The National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have pulled up the administration of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for not acting on the Thorat Committee report which had exposed caste discrimination at the institute and other top hospitals in the capital.

Commission Chairman Buta Singh, who called the members of AIIMS top administration to his office last evening as part of an ongoing inquiry into charges of caste discrimination, asked the latter why Thorat Committee recommendations had not been implemented in the premier medical institution.

Mr Singh also reminded the administration that Thorat Committee report had already been accepted by the Government and the governing body of AIIMS had also given a green signal for acting upon the report.

The Commission had already announced that it would take action against doctors or anybody else found guilty of caste discrimination.

The report had revealed that politics and caste had divided doctors and students not only at AIIMS but in several hospitals across the city.

The situation was particularly bad at AIIMS, where some doctors had refused to go on rounds with their seniors. They said they were being discriminated on the basis of caste.

For Dr Suman Bhasker, a cancer specialist at the AIIMS, doing the rounds at the hospital had become a solitary routine. And, for the last three months, the eight resident doctors who were meant to accompany her on her rounds had refused to do so.

Doctors got polorised at AIIMS last year after the HRD Minister Arjun Singh announced a 27 per cent additional reservation for OBCs in institutes of higher learning, including AIIMS.

And, following the complaints that AIIMS had become the focal point of the anti reservation stir for over two weeks with outgoing Director Dr P Venugopal allegedly going soft on the agiationists, the Thorat Committee was set up to look into the charges of caste discrimination.

Besides indicting Dr Venugopal, the Thoral Committee findings confirmed the charges of upper caste students that doctors had been discriminating against the Dalit students and resident doctors at all levels.

Upon this, the Scheduled Caste Commission also steppped in, initiating any inquiry into the charges and summoned Dr Venugopal to appear before the panel.

Last month, Mr Buta Singh had told UNI that the Commission would penalise the defaulters under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

But Dr Venugopal, who had been divested of his post a few days ago, had not appeared before the Commission till date.

Reacting to this, The Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum at AIIMS questioned the Commission for not taking any action against Dr Venugopal who had been personally indicted by the Thorat Committee in the caste discrimination case.

UNI

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