A government doctor who was beaten up by a patient and his relatives for asking them to maintain social distancing fears returning to work in Raisen district, even as the police are yet to arrest any of the accused 10 days after the incident and government to heed his requests for a transfer.
Raja Wasim Bakshi, a Medical Officer at the Community Health Centre in Badi, has alleged that local BJP leader Jodha Singh Atwal had instigated the attack on June 5. “I have received numerous threats from his sons on the phone. And it is not safe for me to return to work,” said Dr. Bakshi from Bhopal, his hometown where he had got back to be treated for an elbow fracture he suffered during the assault.
On Monday, even as the accused patient Satvindar Singh, his brother Talvinder and other four-five unidentified persons mentioned in the FIR are yet to be arrested, the doctor was asked to rejoin duty. “How can I go back to work at a place where there is a threat to my life? They have been pressing me to withdraw the case,” said Dr. Bakshi, 34.
Raisen Chief Medical and Health Officer Shashi Thakur said the police after the incident had assured her the accused would be arrested immediately. However, Badi police station in-charge Satya Prakash Saxena on Monday said, “No arrests have been made so far,” although BJP leader and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has expressed gratitude towards health workers on numerous counts, describing them as “corona warriors”.
“This incident is real. There are no two opinions about it,” said Mr. Saxena. But curiously, he said, “we are yet to get medical reports and are collecting evidence,” despite as many as 10 days since the incident.
The case was registered under Sections 3 and 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Doctors’ Protection Act, 2008, which prohibits assault on medical service persons during the discharge of their duties within a medical institution. The offence, cognisable and non-bailable, can invite an imprisonment or fine or both.
When asked if pressure from Mr. Atwal preventing the police from making arrests, Mr. Saxena said, “They tried with full force to register a counter case. But we didn’t register it. This way we are helping the victim.” Whereas, Mr. Atwal told The Hindu, “I don’t know anything about the incident. We have no relation with that family [the patient’s]”.