ABVP chief accused of harassment becomes AIIMS director

ABVP president accused of harassing woman gets AIIMS Madurai directorship

DMK president M K Stalin asked the Tamil Nadu CM to ensure MPs from the state became members of the AIIMS board

ABVP National President Dr Subbiah Shanmugam. Credit: Facebook/@ABVPVOICE

ABVP President Subbiah Shanmugam, who was accused of harassing a 62-year-old widow by urinating in front of her apartment, has been appointed Board Member of the yet-to-be-built All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Madurai, prompting condemnation from Opposition parties who demanded its revoking.

An order issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on October 15 says Subbiah Shanmugam, Professor and HOD, Department of Surgical Oncology, Kilpauk Medical College and Government Royapettah Hospital in Chennai, is a member of AIIMS, Madurai.

The 17-member Board is headed by Dr V M Katoch, President of JIPMER, Puducherry and members include Dr Sudha Seshayyan, Vice-Chancellor of Dr MGR Medical University, officials from the Ministry, and doctors from AIIMS and other premier government institutes. Three members are yet to be appointed, but the notification says the slots are reserved for members of Parliament.

Subbiah's appointment led to a major row with MPs from DMK, Congress, and Left parties condemning the move citing the harassment case against the ABVP President. In July, a 62-year-old woman had filed a complaint against Subbiah Shanmugam for harassing her following an argument over a parking slot.

DMK President M K Stalin demanded the revoking of Subbiah Shanmugam's appointment and asked Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to ensure that MPs from the state get into the Board.

“Is this an endorsement of his indecent behaviour and also an incentive for other BJP cadres to follow suit?” DMK MP Kanimozhi asked. “I am shocked the appointment of Dr Subbiah Shanmugam, who stands accused of harassing his elderly woman neighbour, as a Board member of AIIMS,” she added.

Virudhunagar Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore, in whose constituency the AIIMS will come up, sought to know whether Subbiah Shanmugam is being “rewarded” because of his affiliation to RSS or for “insulting women.” “Is this the way of running a government according to Manu Shastra?” he asked and demanded that Subbiah Shanmugam's appointment to the AIIMS board be revoked.

Madurai MP and writer Su. Venkatesan also questioned the Union Government's move.

A case under Sections 271 (disobedience to quarantine rule) and 427 (mischief causing damage) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Tamil Nadu Women Harassment Prevention Act was filed against Subbiah Shanmugam. But the case was dropped after the woman withdrew her complaint.

CCTV footage showed Subbiah Shanmugam urinating in front of the woman's apartment. She had also alleged that the ABVP functionary had harassed her by throwing “pieces of chicken” outside her apartment despite knowing she is a vegetarian.