Sassoon Hospital has reduced its security cover. Armed guards deployed at strategic locations including mortuary, OPD etc have been removed.
Following a demand by Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), 85 guards were appointed in 2008. Security was reviewed following the German Bakery blast in February 2010, and Pune Jilha Suraksha Rakshak Mandal (PJSRM) was chosen to provide security to the institute.
The issue of security at Sassoon has come into focus many times — in a recent case, a pistol was unearthed near a prisoners’ ward. A few years ago someone decapitated a body and fled with the head. Also, MARD had complained about relatives of some patients turning violent.
“Numerous people visit the hospital every day. The casualty section and wards are also busy all the time. Considering the rush, there is need for security guards at theses places,” said Shashikant Swami, member of MARD, Pune.
85 guards had been positioned by PJSRM; that number has come down to 25. “The number of security guards is constantly reducing. Considering the size and design of the campus, the personnel are not enough for vigilance,” said one of the guards.
Armed guard where also appointed at the hospital last year near sensitive areas like casualty wing and mortuary, but they have been removed.
“We have been regularly approaching the dean about the matter. We have been demanding more security guards, but all we have got in return are promises.
We will again bring up this issue in the next few days,” Swami said.
When approached by MiD DAY, Ajay Chandanwale, dean of Sassoon Hospital and BJ Medical College refused to comment on the issue and instructed us to contact the medical superintendent (MS). But despite repeated attempts D G Kulkarni, the MS, could not be reached for a response.