Trainee nurses on dharna outside the residence of Giridih deputy commissioner on Thursday. (Tausheen Rubbani)
Hazaribagh, Feb.13: In a first mass protest of its kind, 32 trainee nurses of Giridih Sadar Hospital today charged the district civil surgeon and another senior official with “indecent behaviour” and vociferously demanded the duo’s arrest and dismissal at a daylong dharna before the deputy commissioner’s residence.
The trainee auxiliary nursing midwives (ANMs), all in their twenties, alleged civil surgeon Chandraprakash Vibhakar and storekeeper Tripurari Singh “continuously” harassed them sexually since January 3, when the 32-member batch joined the hospital.
“We want the duo dismissed from their jobs and put behind bars. They passed lewd remarks and asked most of us to get into a physical relationship with them,” said one protester.
Another said: “I am disgusted with the duo’s behaviour. The civil surgeon said he would not allow us to fill our exam forms unless we get physical with him. The storekeeper also left no stone unturned to harass and humiliate us every day.”
Early this morning, the uniformed girls — many of them married — started their protest before the civil surgeon’s office on Sadar Hospital campus, but later sat on a dharna at the gates of deputy commissioner Diprava Lakra’s residence at Officer’s Colony in Giridih town.
BJP Yuwa Morcha, Ajsu Chhatra Sangh, Adivasi Chhatra Sangh, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and AAP workers also joined the dharna to support the girls. Effigies of civil surgeon Vibhakar were also burnt.
ANMs are support healthcare staff, recruited in the state based on their intermediate marks. After selection, they enrol in a two-year training at an ANM training school.
For the Giridih batch, the training venue happened to be Sadar Hospital, the campus of which hosts the civil surgeon’s office. For the trainee nurses, the storekeeper is also an important personage as he hands them medical and linen supplies.
A source said the civil surgeon was hiding in the deputy commissioner’s residence, while the storekeeper could not be found.
The protest prompted DC Lakra to form a three-member team to urgently probe into the matter. The team, which comprises district education officer Nirmala Kumari Baralia and principals Shama Perween and Geeta Dey of Pachamba Girls’ High School and Giridih Mahila College, will hand Lakra their report in two days.
DSP (Giridih) Asif Ekram and additional collector Anand Mohan Thakur personally went and spoke to the girls. An FIR was lodged in Giridih town thana against the duo based on the statement of the girls.
The nurses called off their protest at 9.20pm when Giridih DSP Ekram promised separate FIRs would be lodged on the basis of each girl’s statement.
“Humlog kafi bhaybhit hain dono ki harkat se (We are really scared of their conduct),” said a girl when asked why they were huddled outside the DC’s home gates till night.