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Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the joint director of health services of eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh, Udayan Kumar Baruah was suspended by the State Government on Wednesday for dereliction of duty.

The decision to suspend him was taken after it came to the notice of the Dibrugarh district administration that Baruah had been out of headquarters without availing permission from the deputy commissioner, Dibrugarh and other competent authorities since April 12.

He was also absent during the review meeting chaired by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal in Dibrugarh on April 13 which was attended by the chief secretary and DGP.

His absence from duty without information tantamounted to gross negligence and dereliction of duty during the COVID-19 pandemic, stated higher authorities.

In view of the gross misconduct, Udayan Kumar Baruah was placed under suspension under Section 6(1) of the Assam Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1964 with immediate effect pending departmental proceedings vide an order issued by the commissioner secretary to the Government of Assam, Health and Family Welfare Department.

The suspension letter mentioned that being the head of the health care in the district, the responsibility for managing all COVID-19 care related arrangement lies on him and his absence has put the entire health system to risk and innocent lives to danger.

Following the suspension of Baruah and in the interest of public service and in view of emergent situation of COVID-19 pandemic, the sub-divisional medical officer, Dibrugarh Nabajyoti Gogoi was asked to take charge as joint director of Health Services, Dibrugarh unilaterally along with financial powers until further orders.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: