Orissa doctors dismissed for cutting palms of tribals (Lead)

October 24th, 2008 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Oct 24 (IANS) The Orissa government Friday dismissed three doctors for allegedly cutting off the palms of five tribals while performing autopsies on their bodies. The tribals were killed during police firing in the coastal district of Jajpur three years ago.

“The state government has dismissed them from their jobs following the order of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday,” a senior official of the state health department told IANS.

He said that of the 500 tribals protesting construction being undertaken by Tata Steel at the industrial complex in Kalinga Nagar, some 100 km from Bhubaneswar, at least 13 were killed during police firing Jan 2, 2006.

Bibek Swain, an anaesthesiologist, Santanu Sahu, a surgeon and Anup Nath Sharma, an orthopaedic specialist had chopped off the palms from five of the bodies, saying they had done so to preserve the identities of those killed.

The incident had created a storm within and outside Orissa. Following pressure from various human right groups, the state government had suspended the three doctors the same year.

An office bearer of the Orissa Medical Service Association, which had opposed the suspensions of the doctors, Friday said the move would discourage government doctors from performing autopsies.

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