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AIIMS chief accused of caste oppression

PMSF on Thursday accused AIIMS director of 'perpetuating' caste oppression at the institute.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2006 18:03 IST

The Progressive Medicos and Scientists' Forum (PMSF) on Thursday accused AIIMS Director P Venugopal and other senior officials of 'perpetuating' caste oppression at the institute and demanded action against them.

"We demand that action be taken against officials of AIIMS and its director P Venugopal for their complicity in shielding and perpetuating caste oppression at AIIMS under the provisions of Prevention of Atrocities against SC and ST Act," PMSF spokesperson Vikas Bajpai said.

He alleged that the committee appointed by the Director to investigate complaints of caste discrimination is an 'eyewash exercise' to 'cover-up the issue'.

"The committee is merely an eyewash exercise and that is clear from the fact that most of the faculty members appointed in it were actively involved in the anti-reservation stir or are known for their pliability to serve the interests of the authorities," he alleged.

"In the very first meeting itself, these faculty members tried to prevail upon the representatives of reserved category students to withdraw their complaints against the students whom they had accused of indulging in caste based harassment and intimidation including violence," he claimed.

Alleging that the AIIMS administration did not take any action against guilty students, he said this amounts to criminal offence.

Dr Bajpai claimed that hostel records proved that "there is a clear cut demarcation of hostels along caste lines".

"Photos of hostel doors have been published in newspapers, on which casteist and abusive messages were written asking the reserved category students to leave the hostels in which the general category students dominate," he said.

About a CD which allegedly shows AIIMS students burning books of Dr BR Ambedkar and making obscene gestures, the PMSF spokesperson said the position taken by the institute administration on the issue is an acceptance of existence of caste discrimination.

First Published: Sep 28, 2006 17:48 IST