Two back to back big incidents of kidnapping, one of chief medical officer of Gonda SP Singh allegedly by minister of state for revenue and rehabilitation Vinod Singh alias Pandit Singh and the other of sporting equipment company BDM’s owner Sudhir Mahajan in Meerut, have rocked the state.
While the government has ordered a high level probe into the CMO abduction, police were quick to rescue Mahajan within hours of his kidnapping.
The CMO was abducted as the minister was allegedly not happy with his refusal to accommodate his (minister's) nominees on the list of doctors on contract. Pandit Singh, however, has strongly refuted the charge, calling it a political conspiracy to tarnish his image.
According to reports, the minister along with his associates had barged into the residence of the CMO in Gonda's Officers Colony late on Monday night, asking the CMO to include the name of his aides in the list of the contractual doctors recruited by the district health department under the national rural health mission (NRHM) programme.
When Dr Singh told the minister that recruitment of the doctors had already been completed and his office staff were aware of the results, a furious Pandit Singh allegedly bundled the CMO into his vehicle and took him to the residence of two health department clerks, Manoj Kumar and Sanjay Gupta.
From there, Dr Singh and both the clerks were first taken to the CMO camp office and then to the minister's residence, where they were allegedly ordered to prepare a fresh recruitment list of the contractual doctors. They were freed later.
After his release, the CMO informed the district magistrate about the incident, who in turn informed principal secretary, Home. Fearing attack on the CMO, the DM meanwhile sent him to Lucknow under police security.
Pandit Singh is an accused in the multi crore food scam being probed by the CBI. A few months back the CBI had raided his residence and office as well as that of his relatives in Gonda and neighbouring districts.
Secretary, Home, Subhash Chandra Sharma and IG (Law and Order) BP Singh said the state government had directed the Gonda DM to submit a report on the incident.
Although the CMO has not registered a complaint against the minister, but taking the cognizance of media reports the state government has sought report from the district administration.
"Action against the culprits would be taken once we receive the report," the two officials said. "The list of the 40 contractual doctors for NRHM was released on Monday after the approval of the screening committee headed by the DM.
The minister was putting pressure on me to include the name of his aides who were disqualified by the committee," the CMO, who is staying in Lucknow and has refused to join office in Gonda, said on Wednesday adding, “I fear for my life and I would only join duty when the state government ensures my security as well as that of my family members.”