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Harass charges haunt hospital
- Superintendent surrenders in court, sleuths on case

If the sexual harassment charge levelled against Jahar Majumder, medical superintendent of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) had shocked on Day I, it snowballed on Day II.

On Wednesday afternoon, Majumdar surrendered at the sub-divisional judicial magistrate’s court in Alipore and was granted interim bail. “Since an FIR was lodged against my client, there was no alternative but to surrender in court and obtain bail,” said Majumder’s lawyer Baishanar Chatterjee.

Sadhana Saha, head of the department of anaesthesiology, had, on Tuesday, accused Majumdar of sexual harassment.

On Wednesday, similar allegations of sexual abuse and mental torture involving Majumder came tumbling out.

Two hospital staff members had in the past levelled harassment charges against the medical superintendent, but the hospital authorities had allegedly hushed up both cases.

On April 24, 2002, medical officer (surgery) Smita Gupta had alleged that she was being mentally tortured and harassed by Majumder. “Since my joining CNCI, working under Jahar Majumder has become difficult… I am on the verge of breakdown,” she had written in her complaint.

On October 18, 2002, Tapati Halder, sister in-charge of the institute, accused Majumder of “molestation and indecent approach”. Halder’s complaint further stated: “He used to trouble me with phone calls in the wards, repeatedly asking me to go to his room without any reason.”

Admitting that such complaints had been lodged against him in the past, Jahar Majumder said all allegations were false and malicious. “Ever since I took over as medical superintendent and stopped the corrupt activities of several people on campus, I was targeted by people with vested interests,” he told Metro.

The Association of Health Service Doctors and the Indian Medical Association has called for a “thorough investigation” into the matter. “We were aware of the two previous allegations. Investigations did take place, but nothing came of them. This time, we hope the truth will emerge,” said association secretary Gautam Mukherjee.

Following a prod from Writers’ Buildings, the detective department of the city police has taken over the case from Gariahat police station. “All previous complaints of harassment against Majumder will be taken into account,” said Peeyush Pandey, deputy commissioner (detective department).

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