Police allegedly thrashed two junior resident doctors of AIIMS, Bhopal, with batons as they were returning home after performing emergency duties on Wednesday.
The two doctors were stopped by two policemen patrolling the Bag Sevania area and asked what they were doing outside. As the two doctors didn’t wear face masks, the policemen told them they were a threat to society. The two then proceeded to land batons on them. An inquiry has been initiated against the policemen, officials said.
The AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association has condemned the incident. The hospital administration, however, hasn’t pressed charges.
At a time when COVID-19 cases are spiralling in Bhopal, with 75 fresh cases being reported in the past five days, various hospital departments are teaming up to cater to a steady stream of incoming patients. Even students of the Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department, to which the two doctors belong, are posted in isolation wards to take up COVID-19 duties on rotation.
The lady doctor’s parents back in West Bengal, who’re already worried about her being on COVID-19 duty, asked her to go on a day’s leave on Thursday to get over the trauma. So too did her professors, as she had suffered injuries. But she reported for duty on Thursday.
“If such an incident could happen right outside my college, it could happen to me somewhere else too,” she said. “Everyone is scared now. If they say doctors can’t step outside when the coronavirus spread is widening, should I ask them why policemen are roaming outside too?”
One of her batchmates, who is on the isolation ward’s night duty roster next week, is already tense about having to travel 9 km to the hospital. “I will totally not step out of the car when they ask for my ID. Will it even be safe to travel alone in the first place?” she wondered.
This is the second attack on doctors in Madhya Pradesh and the first by a policeman during the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier, two doctors in Indore were pelted with stones as they traced contacts of a patient in a locality. The National Security Act was invoked against four of the accused. However, in the present case, a case is yet to be registered against the policemen.