Where is JJ Hospital dean?

After filing an FIR against Dr T P Lahane for alleged casteist slurs directed at a sweeper, police have sent him two reminder notices to record his statement; but neither the cops, nor the hospital staffers know where he is

While the temporary Class IV workers continued with their strike for the fourth consecutive day after an FIR was filed against the dean of JJ Hospital on Friday, for allegedly using casteist remarks against a sweeper, sources at the hospital said that the JJ Marg police officials had already left two reminder notices at the hospital to summon Dr T P Lahane for recording his statement.

MiD Day’s report on February 15
MiD Day’s report on February 15

Despite this, the whereabouts of the state-run hospital’s dean remain unknown. A senior doctor from the hospital said, “The cops have been visiting the institute for the last two days looking for him and even questioned us about him. But, he has not been spotted in the hospital’s campus and we don’t know where he is.”

Meanwhile, Dr Rekha Daver, head of the gynaecology department, is now in charge of the hospital. On Friday, 1,000 temporary workers from state-run hospitals were up in arms against the dean after it was reported that a sweeper, Naresh Waghela (35), was at the receiving end of a casteist slur by Dr Lahane.

Following the incident, the temporary ward boys and sweepers filed an FIR against him under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. MiD DAY had reported on the protest by the temporary class IV workers (‘FIR and outcry against JJ Hospital dean for caste-based slur’, February 15).

Despite attempts to contact Dr T P Lahane, he remained unavailable for comment. When contacted, Ravindra Shishve, DCP (Zone I) said, “I am not aware about this. Please speak to the investigating officer.”

ACP Sanjay Diwadkar added, “It has been only three days since the FIR was filed and our investigations are still going on. We are yet to record Dr Lahane’s statement though, and are waiting for that procedure to be completed.”

Workers’ strike
The workers had already gone on strike on Thursday, demanding to be made permanent and given salaries according to the Sixth Pay Commission. Around 9.30 am today, the striking workers will meet Dr Pravin Shingare, the head of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER). “We demand to be made permanent, as many of us have been temporary for more than a decade. We will put forward our demands to Dr Shingare,” said Kishor Shelar, a ward boy supporting the strike.

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