Sambalpur: Postgraduate students of the government-run Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) in Burla, Sambalpur launched an indefinite cease-work on Sunday in protest against director Aswini Pujahari’s ‘high-handedness’. They have decided to continue the stir till Pujahari’s removal.
Supporting the students, house surgeons and undergraduate students of Vimsar staged a dharna on the premises of the institute on Sunday. “We have resorted to cease-work as the director has created a negative environment here. We are not willing to work under him. Either he is removed or we are relocated,” students’ representative Himansu Mishra said.
The cease-work came just two days after a couple of PG students allegedly beat up the attendant of a patient and pelted stones at Pujahari’s residence on Friday night. Reacting to the violence, locals of Burla, Sambalpur and Hirakud gathered in Burla and gheroed the police station on Saturday demanding the arrest of the unruly students. A section of the residents has also called a bandh on Monday.
Pujahari, meanwhile, has lodged a complaint against those who pelted stones at his residence on Friday night and has also offered a proposal to end the standoff. He said the students should apologize to the attendant they allegedly thrashed, accept their mistake in hurling stones at his house and give a written undertaking to police that they would maintain peace. The proposal has been rejected.
Pujahari has annoyed students and a section of the teachers with his ‘dictatorial’ style of functioning and by conducting a series of ‘sting operations’ to catch Vimsar doctors engaging in private practice during duty hours. His strong style of functioning, however, has endeared him to the public.
Meanwhile, Health minister Pratap Jena said the government would talk to all stakeholders for an early resolution of the impasse.