Rajasthan hospital owner apologises for staff’s anti-Muslim remarks

Police begin probe after online chat goes viral

Updated - June 08, 2020 05:07 am IST

Published - June 08, 2020 04:13 am IST - Jaipur

Srichand Bardia Rog Nidan Kendra in Sardarshahar in Churu district of Rajasthan.

Srichand Bardia Rog Nidan Kendra in Sardarshahar in Churu district of Rajasthan.

The owner of a private hospital at Sardarshahar in Rajasthan’s Churu district has tendered an unconditional apology after some online chats among its staff members, which allegedly disparaged Muslim patients, went viral on the social media. The police have launched a probe into the matter.

The chats on a WhatsApp group titled ‘Bardia Rise’ allegedly commented on Muslim COVID-19 patients, saying it was best not to attend to them, as the virus infection was spreading in the Muslim community, and that they should be referred to a Muslim doctor for treatment.

Also read: Hotels, malls in Rajasthan to open from June 8

The group was formed by the staff members of Srichand Bardia Rog Nidan Kendra in Sardarshahar. While one of them commented that he would not take X-rays of Muslim patients, another employee said that had Hindus tested COVID-19 positive and had there been a Muslim doctor, the latter would not have attended to them.

Sunil Chaudhary, an orthopaedic surgeon who runs the hospital, apologised through a Facebook post, saying the hospital staff did not intend to hurt the sentiments of any community. “Our hospital has no intention to deprive any community of medical treatment. We apologise and assure that there will be no cause for complaint in future,” said the post.

‘No discrimination’

Dr. Chaudhary told The Hindu that the chats were from mid-April when the COVID-19 cases related to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation were being reported in large numbers. “Our hospital has never discriminated against Muslim patients. In fact, 70% of the operations conducted under the Bhamashah health insurance scheme are of Muslims. These off-the-cuff remarks are being exaggerated,” he said.

The police have started an inquiry after receiving a complaint from Maqbool Khan, the Churu district president of the Muslim Parishad Sansthan. Mr. Khan said he was summoned to the Sardarshahar police station on Saturday and his statement was recorded. No first information report in the matter has been registered so far.

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