Calcutta, July 21: Shyamapada Ghorai, who was publicly snubbed by Mamata Banerjee and suspended as director of the Bangur Institute of Neurology, has sought voluntary retirement citing his “humiliation”.
Mamata had made a surprise visit to the hospital on May 26 last year, days after becoming chief minister, and was told by Ghorai that the trail of people behind her was inconveniencing patients.
After questioning Ghorai in public over some faulty equipment, Mamata had said: “It seems you are afraid that if the media come here, you and your acts will be exposed. You have already been exposed. You don’t know etiquette, how to behave with people. I don’t want to speak to you any more. Meet me tomorrow, I’ll take a decision.”
Ghorai, suspended since then for alleged “misconduct by non-cooperation with the chief minister”, would have been due to retire from his government job in March 2015. He wrote to the health department a couple of months ago seeking a withdrawal of the suspension and “VRS with all financial benefits”.
“At the end of my service life, the insult and humiliation I got in return has thrown me into a shock,” the letter says.
The health department hasn’t replied yet “but I don’t want to continue after the way I have been treated”, Ghorai told The Telegraph today.
Director of medical education Sushanta Banerjee said the health authorities, who had showcaused Ghorai on July 27 last year, “would not be able to say anything” till the completion of their probe into the matter.
Ghorai said that during the visit, Mamata had asked him to meet her the next morning with a report on the condition of all equipment. When he told her several surgeries were lined up, she told him to meet her the next evening.
“It was very hot and crowded, so I suggested we go to my office and talk. She exploded,” Ghorai said.
He heard about his suspension over TV in the evening and called up then principal health secretary M.N. Roy. “He asked me not to perform surgeries. The next day he told me I had been suspended.”
Ghorai said he was seeing patients at private healthcare facilities.
A year on, things haven’t improved at Bengal’s only state-run neurology super-speciality institute. Patients are still being turned away for lack of beds, and equipment are still malfunctioning, sources said.
The lone MRI machine, slow at the best of times, has been defunct for three days. “It had drawn the chief minister’s wrath but hasn’t been replaced,” an institute source said.