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Assault on MCH guards: many suspects still on the run

Police draw flak for not tracing nine men involved

September 07, 2022 08:52 pm | Updated 08:52 pm IST - Kozhikode

The fight for justice against a gang of 16 identifiable persons who reportedly assaulted three security guards and a journalist on the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital premises is yet to bear fruit as most of them are still on the run, apparently taking advantage of the allegedly slow-paced investigation.

Though five attackers, including a district-level functionary of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), are now in judicial custody after a forcible surrender on Tuesday, there is no clue yet about those who fled the scene after the assault.

Eyewitnesses said it was a close shave for the three guards who faced revenge primarily for not watering down hospital rules for visitors. It was quite a surprise that the police booked only seven persons when there was scope to identify all the other nine suspects based on CCTV footage, they said.

“The biggest shame was that the police had no involvement in the surrender of five persons a week after the incident. It would not have been the case if influential persons had not been involved,” said a medical college staffer who was on duty on the day of the incident. He claimed that the police had shown discrimination as the victims were financially weak.

A few of his colleagues also said there were attempts by some pro-Left activists to justify the attackers’ action and describe it as a retort to those who wanted to make the hospital a “citadel of the saffron party”. There were also online campaigns to misinterpret the incident and drag the State government’s name to give credibility to the made-up narrative, they said.

Meanwhile, the injured security guards have approached the Kerala High Court seeking a Crime Branch investigation into the incident. They said that they had no trust in the ongoing probe by the Medical College police. According to them, the police have been playing the role of saviours for the accused.

Despite criticisms, the police officers associated with the probe claimed that there was no negligence on the part of any officer. The non-bailable Sections, including Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code, were charged against the arrested, they said. According to them, search was on for all the suspects.

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