BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Council of Medical Registration (OCMR) on Tuesday issued a notice to the former director of Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) Dr Ashwini Pujahari asking him to personally depose before its Ethics Committee in connection with his alleged salt therapy treatment.
The notice said the purpose of summoning the former Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research director was ensure free and fair inquiry into the allegations of illegal “human extermination and human rights violation” of patients by him.
The council directed the Dr Pujahari to appear before the Ethics Committee at 4 pm on September 6, 2019 without failing. The notice also further said that action will be initiated against him if he fails to depose on the mentioned date.
It may be noted that a video purportedly showing Dr Pujahari using edible salt during surgery on a cancer-stricken patient went viral in December, 2018. The salt therapy incident created a huge public outcry in the state with people from all sections of society including intellectuals and social activists condemning the incident.
Later, as the controversy intensified, Dr Pujahari was sent on leave by the state government before he resigned from his post on February 9, 2019.
Not only salt therapy, another video of Dr Pujahari violently patting on back of a patient, similar to that of playing a tabla, had also gone viral on social media.
After his resignation, Dr Pujahari joined politics and unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Assembly polls on a Congress ticket. Later, he quit the party saying, “Politics is not my cup of tea.”
He also blamed some Congress leaders for sabotaging his winning prospects.