ANDHRA PRADESH

Doctors protest against `police harassment'

Call off strike after receiving assurance from district in-charge Minister Gurupadappa Nagamarpalli

Staff Correspondent

BIDAR: Private and government doctors took up a strike in Bidar on Thursday demanding the dismissal of a police official, who had allegedly assaulted a doctor "without provocation" a few days ago.

Members of Indian Medical Association also passed a resolution to participate in the strike till the Government initiates action against the probationary Sub-Inspector Vijay Kumar.

In a memorandum to Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, the doctors alleged that Mr. Kumar had assaulted Shivashankar Bhairawadagi, a practicing physician, on Sunday night.

"The doctor had been taken into illegal custody and beaten up by three to four constables and officials. Dr. Bhairawadagi's only mistake was that he participated in an IMA meeting that went on late into the night. The Sub-Inspector, who was on night rounds, warned the IMA office-bearers to end the meeting, but the deliberation took up more time. Mr. Kumar came back and took Dr. Bhairawadagi into custody. Such behaviour cannot be tolerated in a Welfare State. The doctor has been admitted to the hospital. Mr. Kumar and Circle Inspector N.B. Mathpati should be dismissed within 24 hours," they said in the memorandum.

The strike was called off in the afternoon after Minister for Forests and district in-charge Gurupadappa Nagamarpalli promised to transfer Mr. Mathpati pending inquiry and initiate disciplinary action against Mr. Kumar.

However, police sources told The Hindu that Dr. Bhairawadagi and other doctors were in an inebriated condition on Sunday night and had picked up a fight with the police.

The doctors attacked Mr. Kumar first.

The doctors are wrongly projecting this, sources said.

The doctors met the Deputy Superintendent of Police George Fernandes and sought to compromise with the police.

But they changed their mind and lodged a complaint against Mr. Kumar on Tuesday and admitted Dr. Bhairawadagi in a hospital, police sources said.

Bandeppa Kashempur, MLA, senior doctors and members of IMA were present at the meeting with Mr. Nagamarpalli.

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