VIMSAR Row: Director Ashwini Pujahari resigns

Sambalpur: After being in the eye of the storm for his alleged ‘unproven therapies’ and subsequent standoff with junior doctors’ association (JDA), VIMSAR director Ashwini Pujahari today resigned from his post. Pujahari reportedly sent his resignation to Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal for approval.

Addressing a presser in Sambalpur today, Pujahari stated that he had no other option than to resign. He further alleged that despite complying with the show cause notice, he received no communication from the State government.

It is pertinent to mention here that the JDA had launched a cease work protest in November 2018 demanding ouster of Pujahari for his alleged autocratic style of functioning and giving unproven therapies to patients at the hospital. The JDA withdrew their strike Pujahari was sent on leave on December 8 last year.

Odisha Health department Commissioner-cum-Secretary had also served a show-cause notice to Pujahari basing on the findings of an inquiry committee which was earlier constituted to investigate the allegations.

“I had submitted my reply along with documentary, photographic and video proof in connection with the show cause notice in December last year. All the evidences nullify the complaints brought against me,” said Pujahari.

Pujahari further claimed that he had requested Odisha government to either restore his position or fast disposal of the matter.

“I had always worked for the development of the hospital. I tried to enforce discipline by ensuring that UG classes were held on time besides putting a check on irregularities and corrupt practices on campus,” Pujahari added.

Speaking on Pujahari’s resignation, BJD MLA Raseswari Panigrahi said, “If he(Pujahari) has decided to resign we don’t have to say anything. In a democratic country everyone has the right to take his/her own decision.”