A row has erupted over the alleged testing of women dancers for HIV at an annual fair in Madhya Pradesh’s Ashok Nagar district by government doctors, prompting authorities to order a probe after the National Commission of Women (NCW) took cognisance and served notice.
Gwalior Divisional Commissioner Deepak Singh, under whose jurisdiction Ashok Nagar falls, has constituted a committee to investigate the alleged incident.
“NCW has taken cognizance. Chairperson @sharmarekha has written to Collector & DM Ashoknagar to tender a written explanation of the allegation against the district administration for taking such unwarranted decision & hurting the sentiments of the women dancers,” NCW tweeted.
The commission also cited a Facebook post in its tweet on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Gwalior divisional commissioner in an official communication quoted media reports saying the incident of HIV tests on dancers has tarnished the image of the administration as the NCW has sought a reply.
A three-member panel headed by Regional Director (Health Services) Dr Rakesh Chaturvedi has been constituted, he stated.
The divisional commissioner also informed that the Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) of Ashok Nagar, Dr Neeraj Chhari, has been transferred to the directorate of the Health Department in Bhopal.
An annual fair is organised on the day of Rangpanchmi, which was celebrated on March 12 this year, at Kareela in Ashok Nagar, where the temple of Goddess Seeta is located. A large number of women dancers perform traditional Rai (a Bundelkhandi dance) during this fair.