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UP minister Vinod Kumar Singh takes Gonda CMO ‘hostage’ to clear his ‘wishlist’

An angry Vinod Kumar Singh took the law into his own hands to get his way.

Written by Faisal Fareed | Lucknow |
October 11, 2012 5:26:10 am

Minister of State for Revenue wanted his choice of Ayush doctors

Angry that his recommendations for appointment of contractual Ayush doctors under NRHM had been ignored,Minister of State for Revenue Vinod Kumar Singh alias Pandit Singh,along with his armed men,reportedly barged into the residence of Gonda’s Chief Medical Officer S P Singh late on Monday night,dragged him to his office and demanded that the officer change the select list.

Like the CMO,two of his staff members,Manoj Gupta and Santosh Kumar,were also reportedly brought forcibly to the office by the minister’s men. Luckily,however,senior officials rescued the CMO and promptly sent him to Lucknow with security. Over the last two days,S P Singh has met senior officials in the capital and narrated his story.

While Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was in Mumbai for the birthday celebrations of actor Amitabh Bachchan on Wednesday,Health Minister Ahmad Hasan ordered an inquiry into the matter.

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“The incident has been brought to my notice. I have ordered a probe. Justice will be done and the guilty will not be spared,” Hasan said,but refused to disclose who would conduct the inquiry.

The selection of 16 Ayush doctors under NRHM was done by a six-member committee appointed by the district magistrate. The CMO was the secretary of the committee. In all,there were 285 candidates. The minister was reportedly annoyed when he got to know that the two candidates he had recommended did not figure in the select list.

No one in the district wanted to talk about the incident. District Magistrate Abhay,who reportedly sent the CMO to Lucknow with the police and additional district magistrate,has since gone on leave. Chief Development Officer Janardan Barnwal,who is the next in hierarchy,too,has gone on leave.

Additional District Magistrate C P N Upadhyay,the seniormost officer now in the district,said,“I have no information about the incident,I am engaged in electoral duties.”

District SP Kripa Shanker Singh stated he had not received any complaint from the CMO and,therefore,cannot take action.

The minister denied any such incident took place at all. “I am not involved any such incident. There is no written complaint against me. Some people are trying to malign my image,” Pandit Singh stated.

He said his house was hardly 50 metres from the CMO’s residence. “Some candidates who were not selected arrived and raised slogans against me as only three candidates were selected from Gonda. They must have gone to protest outside the CMO’s residence,” the minister said.

The CMO,reached on the phone,refused to discuss the incident,saying,“I am in a state of shock and presently not in a position to talk.’’

He said he had apprised DG (Medical and Health) Dr Rama Singh and Home Department officials about the incident. “I have given every detail to them. It is up to them to take action. I am not sure whether I will be able to continue there. I am afraid of venturing out,I just want to be with my family,” Dr Singh said.

Dr Singh’s family stays in Varanasi and he stayed alone in Gonda.

Both Principal Secretary (Medical and Health) J P Sharma and DG (Medical and Health) Dr Rama Singh were called by the Health Minister. Rama Singh said,“We had a discussion with the minister over the Gonda incident. Any decision will be conveyed to you.” Sources stated that efforts are on to pacify the CMO.

IG (Law and Order) B P Singh stated that no case has been registered but “a complete report about the incident has been sought from district police officials”.

Sources in the health department said Akhilesh had sought a detailed report on the incident. “The CM has taken it seriously and asked the health minister to submit a report,” said a senior health official.

Pandit Singh has three criminal cases pending against him at Nawabganj,Tarabganj and Kotwali Dehat police stations in Gonda district for assault,criminal intimidation,causing death by negligence and harbouring deserters.

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