AIIMS doctors ignore threat
New Delhi, September 5
They were told that they could afford to visit Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar to interview candidates for a few posts only at the cost of their lives.
The threat came in a typed letter addressed to the AIIMS Director, Professor P. Venugopal. It came from the outfit, Al-Masoorian.
Sources at AIIMS said that the letter, written in English, warned that the doctors who dared to go to Srinagar would not come back alive. The terrorist organisation stated that it did not want any persons from outside to come and interfere in their affairs.
The letter was received on August 25, a day after the AIIMS Registrar had flown to Srinagar. This caused some panic and the administration lost no time in getting in touch with the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir to assure itself of the safety of its senior faculty members.
Speaking on conditions of anonymity, sources at AIIMS said that 26 faculty members had been invited to select candidates for posts in various branches of medicine and intra-department promotions.
“We ensured that all doctors got the best possible security and then left it to the doctors to decide whether or not they wanted to go to Srinagar. At least half of the doctors visited Srinagar’’.
Dr Ramesh Dawra, Professor of Pathology, who was a member of the selection committee as an external expert described the trip as “pretty ordinary’’ except that “we saw a lot more of the military and more barriers”. Dr Dawra believes that when a job has to be done, it has to be done”.
Other doctors who chose to ignore the threat and visit Srinagar include Dr A. Malhotra, Head of the Department of Nuclear Medicine, Dr Madhuri Behari, Professor of Neurology and Dr Sunesh Kumar from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.