Want transfers in connection withSatnam Singh death case revoked
Government doctors across the State will go on non-cooperation strike from September 6 to protest against the government issuing transfer orders to six doctors, in connection with the death of Satnam Singh at the Mental Health Centre (MHC) here earlier this month. Satnam Singh, a youth from Bihar, had been apprehended by the Karunagapally police on charge of attempted assault on Mata Amritanandamayi, a spiritual leader, from her ashram in Vallikkavu in Kollam district.
The doctors, under the banner of the Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA), have threatened to go on a State-wide indefinite strike from October 1, if the government did not revoke the transfer orders, which the doctors said was “extremely unfair and unwarranted.”
The KGMOA leaders announced their decision to go ahead with the strike after the discussions held with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the capital on Monday failed to make any headway in resolving the current stalemate.
Government doctors in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts have been on a non-cooperation mode since August 21 after the government, based on the report of the Additional Director of Health Services (Vigilance) K. Remani, issued transfer notices to five doctors in Kollam, Kottarakkara and Karunagapally hospitals and the MHC in Thiruvananthapuram district, for their alleged failure to exercise diligence in conducting proper physical examination of Satnam Singh.
Satnam Singh was admitted at the MHC in the early morning hours on August 3. He was found in a near-death state in his cell at MHC on August 4 evening and it was later established by the Crime Branch that he had been assaulted and tortured to death.
The incident had snowballed into a controversy with the youth’s family demanding an enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the National Human Rights Commission too seeking the details of the case.
Though the doctors had no role in the murder of Satnam Singh, a preliminary report by the District Medical Officer said that the doctors who had treated the youth at various points had not exercised sufficient caution in examining him.
It was on the basis of this report that the Director of Health Services set up an enquiry committee under Dr. Remani, including three experts from the Medical College, to find out if there had been any negligence on the part of doctors in treating Satnam Singh.
A State-wide token strike would be held on September 27 and an indefinite strike paralysing all hospital work would be held from October 1 if the government did not revoke the transfer orders against doctors.
Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar was present at the discussion. KGMOA was represented by its State president O. Vasudevan, secretary M. Muraleedharan and other senior leaders.