Srinagar: Aggrieved over their complaints not getting heard, the PG Students of department of Orthodontics along with other PGs, UGs and interns of Government Dental College (GDC) Friday started an indefinite strike. The protesting students demanded the removal of Head of the Department (HoD).
The protesting students said that they cannot continue perusing their studies in case HoD Orthodontics, Dr Muhammad Mushtaq is not shifted.
Notably, the students have leveled serious allegations of harassment and assault by the Principal.
Earlier, only six PGs of the department of Orthodontics were protesting against the erring HoD against what they termed as ‘insensitive’ approach of the Administration of the College.
However, on Friday hundreds of other students joined them in their protest by calling for an indefinite strike, seeking the fulfillment of their demands.
While talking to this reporter, Dr Mudasir, one among the six students who raised their voice initially, said that they are not going to resume their work till their demands are not met.
“We demand the removal of the HoD as soon as possible,” he said and the formation of a student’s union in the college.
Earlier, the students had alleged that the concerned HoD was abusing them physically as well as mentally by making them do the domestic chores which includes picking and dropping his family and relatives besides washing his car.
The protesting students said that the fact that number of students who joined us today also indicates that same sort of treatment was being meted to them as well.
“Now that some handful number of students had raised their voice against the harassment, they (those who joined us) took it as an opportunity to fight for justice,” a protesting medico said.
With this scenario, the patient care seems to be suffering immensely, with the administration saying that they have issued a circular asking other consultants to take of the looming crisis.
“The senior consultants have been asked to look after the patient care till the matter is sorted out,” an official said.
When this reported met the Principal, GDC Dr Reyaz Farooq he said “I have asked the consultants to take care of patients till the issue is sorted out.”
While talking about the mayhem happening within the campus he said that these students have gone everywhere, complaining, but they did not come to me.
“Instead of going here and there they should be coming to me with all their grievances,” he said, adding it was his duty to sort out the matter pertaining to the college.
When asked what happened to the inquiry which his office had ordered, he said that the enquiry panel was inconclusive after going through all the evidences and suggested counseling for both the parties.
“The enquiry panel which comprised of three HoDs in its report said that it was inconclusive and could not come to any end, and suggested counseling for both the parties which could ultimately help in settling down the crisis,” he said.
After the report, the Principal, as he said, appointed another doctor who falls next in line after the current HoD Orthodontics, but the move failed to change the situation.
“I appointed another doctor to take care of things, but even after that things don’t seem to be settling down,” he said.
On the other hand several medico bodies have expressed dismay over the deteriorating work environment at GDC. Jammu and Kashmir Doctors Coordination Committee (JKDCC) said that it has taken a strong note of prevailing chaos in the prestigious Government Dental College Srinagar.
“Principal along with this particular HOD have harassed the postgraduate students on different pretexts to the extent that it has disturbed the working environment of prestigious institution besides denting its image in public,” Dr M. Yousuf Tak, spokesperson, JKDCC said.
JKDCC has also urged Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Health Minister Bali Baghat for an immediate action “in removing of Principal and the concerned HOD.”
While, as per JKDCC, the Principal GDC is “already under vigilance scanner” and is still continuing as a caretaker Principal for a long period, “which again is compromising the credibility of this prestigious chair. We urge government to initiate an immediate action to restore the decorum and working of this prestigious institution,” it said.