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Jail for Gates health staff

Muzaffarpur, June 28: Manhandling and subsequent jail of two surveyors of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation here on June 20 has snowballed into a controversy.

Shekhar Singh and Mohammad Nizam, posted as field officers-cum-surveyors of the foundation, were on a trip to Muzaffarpur to take stock of health facilities in government hospitals and prepare reports. The foundation is working in the state’s health sector.

Chief medical officer-cum-civil surgeon Gyan Bhushan said Shekhar and Nizam were found loitering in a women’s ward of the Sadar hospital. They introduced themselves as trainee IAS officers and rebuked nurses and paramedical staff on June 20 in the presence of patients.

It caused embarrassment to health personnel (nurses and paramedical staff). Bhushan added that the duo threatened nurses and paramedical staff of suspension and misbehaved with them.

Bhushan said he never faced such humiliation in his 30 years of service. They also tore up attendance registers, claimed Bhushan. Besides, both used choicest expletives against the nurses.

Bhushan said two men manhandled Shekhar and Nizam for physically harassing the nurses. The nurses lodged an FIR at Town police station and the duo were sent to Khudiram Bose Memorial Central Jail.

District magistrate (DM) Anupam Kumar said: “They should have met officials concerned or other administrative officers and should have disclosed their identities.”

Foundation representative Ashutosh Kumar met the DM, who has ordered necessary action in this connection.