The Telegraph
Thursday , November 12 , 2015

Vice-principal removed

Malda, Nov. 11: The state health department has removed the vice-principal of Malda Medical College where a probe is on into a multi-crore purchase scam.

However, its not clear if M.A. Rashid was relieved of the post in connection with the scam.

Pratip Kumar Kundu, the principal of the medical college, said a letter removing Rashid from the post had come from Sasthya Bhavan in Calcutta on Monday.

"Rashid has been replaced by Amit Dam, the head of the department of community medicine of our college. Rashid will remain as a teacher," said the principal.

Rashid who had been serving in the post since March, 2011, said he had written to the authorities several times, saying he did not want to continue as the vice-principal.

"Working here with less medical and non-medical staff has been full of stress. Therefore, I wanted to quit the post," Rashid said while avoiding questions on the scam.

According to sources in the health department, medical equipment worth about Rs 3 crore was purchased between 2011 and 2014.

"While going through the accounts, we have found out that there were no cash book entries for many purchases and no bills were kept. We immediately reported the matter to Sasthya Bhavan and an inquiry was conducted. Police haven't been informed yet and the inquiry by the department is still on," said a senior health department official.

The alleged fraud was detected during an inspection by officials from Calcutta in July.

"Susanta Saha, the chief cashier of the hospital, was issued a showcause notice that accused him of misappropriating funds. He was suspended in August," said a source.

The sources said many medical tools were procured bypassing the tender process. "The department suspended the cashier and senior officials in the administration of the hospital were under the scanner but we cannot say whether the vice-principal's removal is connected to the scam," said a hospital source.

State food processing minister, Krishnendu Chowdhury, who is also the chairman of the hospital committee on patients' welfare, said he didn't know whether the vice-principal's removal was linked to the funds misspending.

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