On the RIMS Imphal which resulted in bombshell dropped by Centre By Yambem Laba

On the RIMS, Imphal, which resulted within the bombshell dropped by the Centre

Yambem Laba *

A view of RIMS administrative block; new Director Prof Arun Kumar (Up) and demoted Prof Sekharjit :: Pix – TSE

A go to to the director’s workplace on the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal is akin to visiting an extremely excessive safety zone. You go previous unarmed guards supplied by an company and then you definately enter a fortified space full with sandbagged posts manned by the CRPF wielding automated weapons. Previous that you’re greeted with indicators that learn “Guests not allowed past this level” and then you definately get to the ante room and discover Manipur Rifles personnel armed with AK-47s — the non-public safety element of the director. The aura of the institute being a complicated centre for medical sciences appears to have been misplaced by some means.

It’s now a premier centre for medical sciences and attracts college students from throughout the North-east area save Assam. It celebrated its forty third basis day on 14 September and has to this point produced 2,904 docs and 1,053 specialist docs. In the present day it has 418 undergraduate college students, 414 postgraduate college students, 161 BSc nursing college students and 95 pursuing a level in dentistry on its rolls. It additionally has 24 totally different departments dealing in topics as numerous as anatomy and otorhinolaryngology and offers service and care to sufferers who flock to fill the 1,071 beds out there. Final 12 months, it catered to 43,317 in-house sufferers whereas one other 299,178 have been handled as out of doors sufferers.

Initially, it started because the Regional Medical School funded by the North Japanese Council however was transformed right into a Centrally managed institute beneath the Union ministry of well being and household welfare in 2007 with a board of governors headed by the Union well being minister as chairman and the Manipur chief minister as vice-chairman. Its government council is headed by the Union well being secretary as chairman and its director as member secretary. With such an unlimited infrastructure and an much more spectacular administration set-up, one could be coerced into considering that each one is and needs to be properly with its affairs. On 14 September 2010, Professor S Sekharjit Singh was appointed its director of by the UPA-II set-up in Delhi.

Then on 25 August the bombshell arrived from Delhi within the type of an order signed by a deputy secretary within the Union well being and household welfare ministry which stripped Sekharjit Singh of his submit and Professor Chongtham Arun Singh of the Division of Orthopaedics was requested to take cost as director till additional orders. The drama started unfolding little by little, revealing murky enterprise on the RIMS the place Singh and his caucus functioned a lot past the Hippocratic oath.

First, he refused to recognise the Centre’s order stating {that a} director can’t be eliminated identical to that and he bolted his door and bolted. The Centre then suggested Dr Arun Singh to take police assist, break open the door and assume cost, which he did the following day. Sekharjit Singh then tried to take the assistance of the judiciary and moved Manipur Excessive Court docket, however Justice N Koteshwor turned down his attraction for a keep on the dismissal order. Then he, accompanied by his son and daughter, each medical docs, left the state and has not been heard of since.

Within the meantime, the CBI had earlier registered a case in opposition to Sekharjit Singh on expenses of corruption referring to irregularities within the buy of dental chairs and different misappropriations. On 23 Could this 12 months, the CBI furnished the FIR copy to the District and Classes Choose, Manipur East, and earlier it had additionally earlier registered a case in opposition to Dr L Fimate, Sekharjit Singh’s predecessor.

Then the CBI, which hitherto in Manipur had solely been dealing in homicide circumstances, determined to go a step additional and raided the official quarters of Sekharjit Singh and 9 different locations, together with his spouse’s and daughter’s homes. The seized objects included paperwork, laptops and computer systems that have been stated to have revealed a wealth of data however probably the most damning of all appears to be a letter alleged to have been written by Sekharjit Singh’s spouse to the president of Manipur’s BJP unit asking him to return the Rs 1 crore paid earlier to forestall the impeachment transfer and the CBI raids. This quantity appears to be a pittance for a person stated to be proudly owning three homes in Manipur and others in Guwahati, Kolkata, New Delhi and Bangalore and is claimed to have paid Rs 4 crore to the non-public assistant of then Union well being minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for his appointment as RIMS director.

However what Sekharjit Singh did goes a lot past the information on the CBI recordsdata. For example, he recruited 121 nurses in opposition to 71 sanctioned and marketed posts. The bribe charge was stated to have hovered round Rs 15 lakh every for the primary 71 and Rs 25 lakh apiece for the remaining 40. And though he tried to get submit facto sanction for the 40 seats from the manager council, he failed however they proceed to be on the rolls and acquired salaries until date. He additionally managed to show the RIMS right into a hotbed of corrupt contractors, most of them stated to be family of his spouse.

He went on a spree of digging drains and setting up partitions throughout and even stripped the picket planks of the Gymkhana, paved it with cement and once more put in teak flooring — all on contract. He additionally decreased the retirement age of the heads of departments from 65 to 62 years to allow his spouse to move the division of anatomy.

When the Nursing School was established, he appointed her principal and when protests arose he made her the advisor of the faculty, overriding the principal. What was surprising was the style wherein he handled 47 women and men employed as each day wage employees who have been being paid a paltry Rs 3,000 a month. The ladies have been utilised by his spouse as home assist and haven’t been paid for the final 5 months whereas their salaries had been withdrawn. And sometimes it was his spouse, known as “Madam”, who would dole out their salaries at her residence — not in money however within the type of Amway merchandise for which she is at the moment a platinum card holder agent.

In line with Chongtham Bijoy Singh, who resides within the village adjoining RIMS and had spent the final three years chronicling Sekharjit Singh’s misdeeds, the person was making an attempt to behave as a despot and his spouse, Damayanti, acted as if she was a reincarnate of Imelda Marcos.

Professor Chongtham Arun Singh acknowledged to The Statesman the general public notion of RIMS being within the centrestage of corruption and added that whereas he didn’t know the way lengthy he could be holding the workplace, he pledged to result in transparency in all spheres of life at RIMS, which, he hoped, would mitigate the apprehension of the general public in days to come back. For now, his morning walks have been rendered inconceivable due to the bevy of safety guards detailed for his safety.

* Yambem Laba wrote this text for The Sangai Specific

The author is the Statesman’s Imphal-based particular correspondent.

This text was posted on September 24, 2014.

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