Dr KC breaks fast after TU assures to fulfill demands
KATHMANDU, May 14: Dr Govinda KC broke his fast unto death on Monday, just hours after he started it demanding merit-based appointments to vacant posts and implementation of a probe committee report implicating Institute of Medicine (IoM) officials in several irregularities after the Tribhuvan University wrote a letter addressing the demand about appointment of IoM officials.
“We got a letter signed by TU Vice-chancellor Hira Bahadur Maharjan directing the search committee formed for recommendation of the office-bearers of IoM to recommend three names within three weeks on the basis of seniority or through free competition as demanded by us,” Dr KC said.
Dr KC said Maharjan, who had met with senior professors from Maharajgunj campus in the afternoon, also assured to write to the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) soon to initiate action against officials implicated by the report.
Dr KC, who had started operation on a four-month girl with slightly bent legs at seven in the morning as per the schedule, was summoned by VC Maharjan at his office in the morning but he refused to go.
Dr. Govinda K.C.
“Another 13-year-old girl, whose left hand was not functioning due to injury of her nerves, was already anesthetized and I could not have left her on the table. Further, it would not have been wise for a man on a fast unto death to spend his energy by travelling,” Dr KC added.
Dr Jeevan Kumar Shrestha, Dr YP Singh, Dr Bhagawan Koirala and others had then gone to meet VC Maharjan where the latter assured to write to CIAA to initiate action against the implicated office-bearers and handed over the letter.
PM had tried to talk Dr KC off the fast
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had called Dr KC to his residence Sunday morning and requested him not to start the fast in view of the critical political situation. “Prime Minister Bhattarai told me that he fully empathized with our demands, which he termed justified, and expressed commitment to fulfill them,” Dr KC revealed. “PM said appointing meritorious heads of organizations through free competition was his own agenda and he would see that it would be followed while appointing officials at IoM and TUTH (Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital). But he referred to the May 27 deadline of the Constituent Assembly (CA) and asked me to not start the fast now,” he added.
“I said I cannot give time to him as we had already met him before Dashain and apprised him many times about our demands. He could already have addressed them in capacity of the Chancellor of TU if he so wished. Further, our demands are not those to be incorporated in the new constitution and there is no reason to wait for the deadline for drafting the constitution,” he went on.
Dr KC said he told PM Bhattarai that he trusted him as a person but not as a prime minister and politician to which PM smiled and requested to trust him this time. But Dr KC replied that the fast will continue until written commitment is made to address the demands. “I am told that PM himself and VC Maharjan apparently under PM’s instruction had phoned me at my quarter later on Sunday (Dr KC doesn’t carry cell phone) but I was at the hospital and my phone set at home does not have caller-identification facility,” he said sheepishly.
Dr KC said the protests have been stopped for three weeks and would resume again if the demands are not met. “We want both part of our demands met within the three weeks. Even the new appointed meritorious office-bearers would indulge in irregularities in lack of precedent of action against the offenders of the past. So, the TU should appoint senior or competent office-bearers and initiate action against those implicated in report within 21 days for us to end our protests,” he stated.
The Jayaram Giri-led committee formed after the 17-day TUTH strike in March 2010, in its report, had claimed that there was sufficient ground to suspect the involvement of IoM officials in several irregularities. However, no action has been taken against any of the officials implicated. Dr Arun Sayami, who was dean at IoM when the students went on strike, is still in office as acting dean even though his term ended six months ago while Assistant Campus Chief of Maharajgunj Campus Dr Krishna Bahadur Oli is serving as the campus chief now.