In a horrifying video from Assam, relatives of a dead covid patient were seen thrashing and hitting a doctor in the hospital, accusing him of medical negligence.
The incident took place on Tuesday in Hojai, about 140 km away from the state capital Guwahati. The doctor was kicked, hit with medical equipment, trash cans, bins, and bricks by miscreants. The assaulters were relatives of a covid positive patient who had died. Locals also engaged in the brutal act that shook the nation after the video showing the incident got viral on social media.
The doctor, Dr Seuj Kumar Senapati, had just arrived for his first day of duty to Hojai’s Udali Model Hospital, a covid centre, where the crime took place. He suffered grave injuries to his back due to repeated blows with a steel vessel and other items used to hit him. Dr Senapati is currently hospitalized but is told to be stable.
Soon after the incident video reached the police, 24 people, including the prime miscreants, were arrested in overnight searches by the cops.
The ruckus started after Giyaz Uddin, was brought to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon. A resident of Pipal Pukhuri village, the covid positive patient died allegedly due to oxygen shortage.
However, Dr Senapati said that the patient had died by the time he rushed to him. He told reporters, “The attendant of the patient came to me saying the patient is serious and has not passed urine since morning. I went to the room and found that the patient was dead. As I broke the news to the attendant, another relative started abusing me.”
The relative’s death angered the mob that started vandalizing the hospital. As the medical staff ran for safety and most managed to escape the brutality, Dr Senapti locked himself in a room. However, the mob broke down the door and horrifyingly beat him up.
“They ransacked the hospital, we (the staff) ran for safety. I entered a room and tried to hide but they found me and assaulted me. They snatched my gold chain, my ring and my mobile,” he said while adding that there were 30 people in the hospital at the time.
The severely injured doctor was rushed to another hospital situated in Nagoan.
The incident garnered massive condemnation from across the country with heavy criticism from the Indian Medical Association, including its president Dr JA Jayalal.
“Indian Medical Association and the whole fraternity of the country are saddened and anguished to see the brutal attack on a young and vibrant doctor, Dr Seuj Kumar Senapati. This is the time the government should do something to save the morale and health of doctors,” he was quoted saying.
“On one side, people are commenting badly on doctors, and on the other side, people are badly assaulting doctors. Hospitals should be announced as a protected zone so that the security of doctors will be there. We demand stringent acts to prevent such incidents,” he added in what seemed to be an apparent reference to Ramdev and his string of accusations on allopathy.
Members of the Assam chapter of Assam Medical Services Association (AMSA) have called for strict action against the assaulters while also boycotting the OPD (Outpatient Department) for today in all government medical centres for protesting against the Udali incident. Emergency services, however, including covid duties will continue as usual to avoid inconvenience to patients, a member of the association said.
Across Delhi and many other cities, doctors regarded today as “Black Day” and wore badges to protest against Ramdev’s comments.
Reacting to the assault, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma directed the cops to probe the attack and arrest the culprits. “I am personally monitoring the investigation and I promise that justice will be served,” he said. Assam’s Additional Director General of Police, GP Singh, said a case has been filed while one person has been arrested.
On Wednesday, the number of arrests went up to 24.