Shamna Tasneem: Witnesses fear victimisation
KOCHI: Students who were witnesses in the case related to the death of medico Shamna Tasneem and taking their MBBS final year practical examination at Ernakulam Government Medical College (EGMC) on Monday are a worried lot as one of the two internal examiners is Jilse George, professor who is an accused in the case of death of Shamna as they fear victimisation at his hands.
Shamna, a second-year MBBS student of EGMC, had died in July 2016 at the college hospital after being admitted with fever. The state level medical apex board had found that medical negligence led to her death and that Dr George and Dr Krishna Mohan, doctors at EMC, were responsible for it. The crime branch probe also reported gross negligence on the part of doctors and other staff.
Dr George was suspended by the health department but was reinstated later. "Shamna's mother has moved the High Court over the court decision stalling crime branch proceedings in the case. Five classmates of Shamna had given their statements under Section 164 before the magistrate which had become crucial in the case and now they should not be left to suffer at the hands of alleged culprits," said Dr N.K. Sanil Kumar of Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer Movement which shot off a letter on Sunday to the health secretary, director of medical examination, vice-chancellor of Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS) and the EGMC principal demanding not to put the students under stress in this manner.
KUHS V-C Dr M.K.C. Nair told DC that he has no official information regarding the case. "I can act only if the principal or DME writes to me in this regard," he told DC. "Otherwise, the university will be on the defensive if the professor moves the court alleging that his dignity has been hurt."
Principal Dr V.K. Sreekala said she was not aware of the ongoing case. "He was once suspended and then taken back," she said. "The examiner is appointed by the university from a panel given by the college. I don't think that he will act against the students just because he had become an accused in the case. Since a controversy has been made out, the opposite can happen. Moreover, one examiner alone cannot spoil the chances of a student."