A doctor from the Narsipatnam area hospital, Sudhakar Rao, who was suspended after he alleged that N95 masks were not being provided to the doctors on COVID-19 duty last month, was taken into custody on Saturday on the charge of causing nuisance on the road near the port hospital under the IV Town Police Station limits.
A senior police officer said that a few persons dialled 100 and complained that a person was moving on road and creating nuisance. Based on the complaint, the police reached the spot. Initially, they were unable to recognise him, but later found that he was the doctor who was placed under suspension.
“Sudhakar was drunk and shirtless. He was also trying to stop the lorries that were plying on NH-16 near the port hospital. Moreover, he also broke the mobile phone of the traffic constable who tried to stop him. Since he was running, we had to use force and tie his hands to his back with a rope, and shift him to the police station,” said the police officer.
Soon after the incident, videos of the doctor being taken into custody with his hands tied to his back and police beating him went viral in the social media.
Commissioner of Police R.K Meena told The Hindu that a police constable was suspended for manhandling the doctor.
“We have shifted the doctor to the King George Hospital to conduct alcohol tests. As of now, we have booked a case against him under Section 353 of the IPC. We will see what needs to be done if he is mentally unstable,” Mr. Meena said.
Later in a release, Mr. Meena said the doctor was referred to the Government Hospital for Mental Care for further assessment.
Meanwhile, doctors’ associations, dalit groups, leaders of the TDP and Left parties condemned the police action against the doctor.
Naidu condemns police action
TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu and party leader N. Lokesh condemned the police behaviour against Sudhakar Rao.
Mr. Naidu demanded that the government initiate action against the policemen and book a case against them under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. He also said that the doctor must be provided proper treatment. Mr. Lokesh alleged that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy was humiliating dalits.
Leaders of the CPI(M), Greater Visakha City Committee, also condemned the police action against a dalit doctor.