A police detainee fatally stabbed a woman doctor, Vandana Das, at the Kottarakkara government taluk hospital in Kollam district early Wednesday.
The attack occurred at 4 a.m. Ms. Das succumbed to her injuries at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram later.
The workplace attack unnerved the medical community and sent shockwaves through society.
Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) State president Dr. T. N. Suresh called for a Statewide protest against the government’s alleged failure to give workplace protection to health professionals.
A five-member police team had brought the suspected assailant, Sandeep, to the hospital’s trauma care centre to test him for alcohol and drug impairment. They had detained him earlier following a domestic violence complaint.
The attacker allegedly grabbed a scalpel and stabbed Ms. Vandana multiple times in her neck and back. Later, he reportedly turned on the officers who escorted him to the hospital. Four law enforcers sustained minor injuries in the attack.
Indian Medical Association (IMA) office bearer, Dr. N. Sulphi, said the police failed to handcuff the detainee, who was overtly violent at the time of his arrest and later at the station house. He alleged the police could not subdue the assailant or prevent the attack.
Mr. Suresh urged the government to make the Kerala Healthcare Service Persons and Healthcare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act, 2012, more strident via suitable amendments.
He called for urgently installing surveillance cameras and round-the-clock police protection for government hospitals.
Meanwhile, doctors and staff at the Kottarakara government hospital boycotted work and held a protest march.