Two doctors at the JN Medical College in Aligarh Muslim University have been sacked from their posts in connection with the Hathras gang rape case involving the 19-year-old Dalit woman who was gang-raped and brutalised in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh.
One of the doctors had opposed the police's claim that the woman was not raped, while the other had signed reports about the victim.
Their dismissal came a day after a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team visited the hospital and interrogated the healthcare workers. The two have been identified as Dr Mohammad Azimuddin Malik and Dr Obaid Imtiazyul Haque.
The doctors had been hired on a temporary basis as many doctors had fallen sick, university authorities claimed.
However, one of the doctors claimed that his contradiction of the police's claim may have triggered his removal.
"Medical tests were conducted too late to conclude that the woman had not been raped," Malik had said. He also raised concerns over the gap between the date of the crime, September 14, and the date the tests were conducted, September 22.
The Uttar Pradesh administration has constantly denied that the woman was raped, based on a report from the forensic lab that mentioned there were "no traces of sperm" in samples taken from the victim.
"For concrete finding of rape, one needs to go for a test within four days of the incident and the test conducted after 11 days served no purpose," Dr Malik said. "This was all I had said and did not mention it in regard to the Hathras victim's case."
"I joined when many of doctors at JNMC were ill and worked for two-and-a-half months amidst Covid-19, but came to know [on Tuesday] that my services are not required," Dr Haque said. "I had not interacted with the media about the Hathras victim, which was sub judice, but had signed some medical papers related to the victim."
Malik was appointed as a temporary chief medical officer in August when six out of 11 CMOs at the hospital were diagnosed with coronavirus. His term was expected to end in November, however, he received a notice on October 16 saying that his extension from October 10 to November 8 as temporary CMO, could not be accepted.
However, AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai claimed that the termination of services was not unusual.
Kidwai said: "Dr Azeem has been working on leave vacancy whose term expired on October 8, hence the question of termination of his service does not arise. Casual Medical officer is group one service and temporary appointment can not be made since there were many Covid-19 patients. Now with improved situation the ad hoc appointment of two more doctors, Dr. Obaid and Dr. Faheem, were not approved."