Apathy towards HIV patients reared its ugly head again, as people suffering from the dreaded disease, alleged that they were denied an opportunity to meet Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Kumar holds a periodic "Janata Durbar" to hear the grievances of the common man.
Monday was fixed for problems relating to health, and state Health Minister Chandramohan Rai was in attendance.
But 28 women and four men were sidelined from the queue waiting to meet the Chief Minister.
The women said they were discriminated against because of being AIDS victims. "We have come twice or thrice, but were stopped by the police. If the government indulges in such discrimination then what can we expect from the public?," asked Sushma Singh. Rai, however, denied the charge.
"The AIDS infected women have come today. We have received their applications and referred them to the concerned place for check-ups," he claimed.
Official figures say 1,078 people of Bihar’s 83 million strong population are affected by the virus. Health workers say the figures are underreported.