In an incident adding to concerns over police functioning in Haryana, an assistant sub-inspector shot at a doctor in a Karnal hospital in the small hours of Wednesday allegedly for not cooperating with him in preparing a fake medico-legal report (MLR).
The police arrested ASI Kashmira Singh from his residence in Karnal city after a 12-hour drama following a manhunt.
Luckily, the doctor ducked and saved himself as the shot was aimed at his head, as seen on a video clip of the CCTV installed in Kalpana Chawla Medical College and Hospital. The video clip, which went viral on social media sites, shows the ASI in his uniform and using his service weapon to shoot at the doctor in the trauma ward. Two persons who accompanied him tried to prevent the doctor from using his mobile phone to contact authorities.
Dr. Kalra told reporters that an inebriated Kashmira Singh approached him around 2.45 a.m., seeking an MLR in favour of his relatives in a case in which he wanted to implicate some person.
The doctor said that as he expressed his inability to oblige, the ASI drew out his gun and fired a shot. He said a police party arrived at the scene only after half-hour of his reporting the incident. Moreover, Dr. Kalra alleged, the security personnel on duty did not act to prevent Kashmira Singh from leaving the hospital.
Kashmira Singh was arrested after his family helped him surrender. Deputy Superintendent of Police Joginder Singh Rathee gave an assurance that he would be proceeded against as per the law and police service rules.
But social analyst Pramod Kumar says the incident has once again raised issues of police functioning in the overall justice delivery system. Dr. Kumar, who is director of the Institute for Development and Communication, which has been advocating police reforms, says the episode exposes how evidence was being surreptitiously generated or suppressed — an issue which has a major bearing on not only investigations but also delivery of justice as a whole.
The former Advocate-General, R.S. Cheema, said doctors came under police pressure to manipulate the MLR. But with courts of late setting up medical boards in the event of an MLR being challenged by either of the parties, doctors were hesitant to go overboard to oblige the police.