Imphal Dec 31 : Hundreds of patients in Manipur on Saturday faced inconvenience as the staff at the state run Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) went on strike to protest the lack of security in the campus, an official here said.
Secretary of RIMS Nurses’ Association Priyadarshini said,”The employees of this central institute are protesting against the planting of a hand grenade in the surgery ward on Friday. “Had it exploded dozens of patients, staff and visitors would have been killed or maimed.”
“Those who planted it should come out with an explanation and all armed groups should desist from such reprehensible actions,” she said. The emergency services and the out patient department at RIMS were temporarily shut down on Saturday.
Lenkhopao Haokip, a patient who had to return home without a medical consultation due to the suspension of the emergency services said: “Even during war hospitals are not touched.
“RIMS has become the playground of some armed groups and it is against the interest of the poor who cannot afford expensive private hospitals.” “Some weeks back another hand grenade was left in the ICU, an official said.
A senior doctor of RIMS said, “Several bombs were planted and exploded inside RIMS. Some insurgents had also brought condemned persons for execution on the campus.
“These acts of violence have vitiated the academic and hospital atmosphere of this institute where students from seven northeastern states are studying”. Acting Director of RIMS C. Arunkumar and some senior officials have armed guards round-the-clock for security, while the administrative block has CRPF personnel.
A police officer said: “In the past L. Fimate, the then director and some officials were kidnapped. One senior doctor was also kidnapped by another tribal outfit to extract a hefty ransom.
“The governments of the NE states are concerned since some students were shot and wounded. At least one person from Tripura was gunned down in a hostel room.” The RIMS authorities, however, deny any extortion threat from any armed group.
From time-to-time some outfits had come out with serious charges of corruption in appointments. Police said, “Following such charges bombs were hurled at the residences of the officials concerned.” So far no arrest has been made. Police have intensified patrolling in the immediate vicinity of the RIMS complex.