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SHILLONG | Oct 31, 2019:

NEIGRIHMS outgoing director, Dr. Devendra Mohan Thappa said that the probe ordered by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) into the imbroglio inside the institute came very late.

“This inquiry was needed very early on. It is being delayed by six months,” Dr. Thappa said here today.

Meanwhile, NEIGRIHMS director said that he had sent the report of the 30 lakh items which was seized by the vigilance officer on May 02 last. “We had established the connection between Sanjo pharmacy and the head of Cardiology department, Dr. Animesh Mishra. But unfortunately the Ministry was adopting the delaying tactics. I strongly suspect that it is an attempt to shield the concerned person,” Dr. Thappa said.

According to him, the committee will conduct the inquiry and submit the report. “They will take some kind of action. But my contention is that why was the CBI inquiry for this multi-crore scam in NEGRIHMS not ordered,” he said while alleging this to be a one-game plan to shield the concerned person. “Now you are conducting the inquiry when you have asked the director to step down,” he said.

When asked about the motive to remove him from the post of director, he said that the whistle blower is being blown away.

“Now, they may initiate an inquiry to safeguard him. If the NGO filed a case in the CBI then why the CBI Shillong is not taking cognizance of it.  It is perhaps because the CBI  is also under the control of the Ministry. Now, it is for the public to judge and belief if this inquiry is for the interest of the institute or not,” Dr. Thappa said.

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The outgoing director of NEIGRIHMS said that no one is bothered to safeguard the interest of the common public.

He said that the Government talks about integrity – a way of life, which is the theme for this year’s celebration of Vigilance Week. “What is this way of life for the NEIGRHIMS director? Dr. Thappa questioned.

“I am supposed to be a vigilant person during the business activity. But I should not catch somebody who is close to the Ministry. What message are we going to give in NEIGRHIMS about the vigilance awareness,” Dr. Thappa.

It may be mentioned that the Ministry on October 29 had ordered an inquiry into the ongoing imbroglio in NEIGRHIMS.

The order issued by the Ministry had stated the Vigilance Commission had received a letter from NEIGRIHMS requesting to investigate the suspicious activities by unauthorized outsider/ private vendors inside the hospital moving around medical consumables and entering restricted areas without the approval of the Medical Superintendent.

The order further stated as opined by the Vigilance Section of the MOWFH, the competent authority has decided to constitute a committee to look into the matter holistically. The terms of reference of the committee include to examine the veracity of the allegations of suspicious activities by the unauthorized outsider/private vendors inside NEIGRIHMS, Shillong around medical consumables and entering restricted areas without the approval of the Medical Superintendent.

The committee will also conduct the preliminary inquiry report taking into account the comments of the Vigilance Section as per section O.M. dated 23.07.2019, the order stated even as it advised further course of action into the matter to the Ministry and other recommendations. “The committee may submit its report within two weeks,” the order added.

Earlier, Meghalaya Minister of Health and Family Welfare, A.L. Hek had welcomed the decision of the MOHFW to conduct an inquiry into the NEIGRIHMS episode. Hek said that his main concern is that the general public should not suffer in view of the problem in NEIGRIHMS.

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