Mob brutally assaults young Assam doctor after COVID patient death, State IMA, CM condemn attack
Guwahati: In a barbaric act of violence against doctors, a young doctor was brutally assaulted on Tuesday by a mob including family members of a deceased patient at a Covid care centre in Assam's Hojai district.
A total of 24 persons were arrested by Wednesday morning in connection with the attack.
Condemning the attack, the State chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) demanded immediate action against the culprits. The Resident Doctors' Association of AIIMS Bhubaneswar also came in support, seeking court sentence on lines of the National Security Act, 1980.
Elaborating on the incident, Hojai Superintendent of Police Barun Purkayastha said that a critically ill Covid-19 patient succumbed to the disease at Udali Covid Care Centre on Tuesday afternoon. Consequently, the doctor posted at a Covid Care Centre in Udali in Hojai, was kicked and thrashed with brooms and utensils by the mob.
"Immediately after that, the relatives and a group of people known to the victim arrived there and started beating up the doctor. After getting the information, our team reached there and arrested three persons. Further investigation is on," he told PTI.
A video of the attack which has gone viral on social media showed that a person, apparently looked like the doctor, was being assaulted by a group of people, including women.
The Assam State Branch of the IMA on Wednesday called for all doctors in the state to abstain from outdoor patient services.
The body has demanded that all culprits are booked immediately and there is a speedy trial. Moreover, it has asked for the deployment of armed security personnel in all health care facilities of the state.
"In all strongest terms the barbaric assault on a freshly passed out doctor Dr. Seuj Kumar Senapati at one of the Covid Care Centres in Hojai District. IMA and all the doctors are at a loss at this gruesome reward to a frontline worker in Covid duty," the release stated.
"If we don't get a firm assurance on our above 3 demands from the government, then IMA will give a call for a boycott of all non-emergency medical services including non-critical Covid duties on 3rd June 2021," the IMA state branch's letter to CM Sarma said.
Reacting to the incident, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "Such barbaric attacks on our frontline workers won't be tolerated by our administration."
He asked the Special DGP (Law and Order), Gyanendra Pratap Singh, to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice.
Singh said in a tweet that instructions have been given to the Hojai SP to arrest all persons involved in assaulting the doctor, identified as Seuj Kumar Senapati.
"24 culprits involved in this barbaric attack have been arrested and a chargesheet will be filed at the earliest. I am personally monitoring this investigation and I promise that justice will be served," Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted soon after.
Local Congress MP Pradyut Bordoloi told PTI, "The incident of assaulting a doctor at Udali is unacceptable. I have strongly taken up with the district administration to take swift action and bring the culprits to justice."
As per a recent media report in The Indian Express, Assam's Special DGP (Law and Order), GP Singh also assured that "criminals will be brought to justice."
In solidarity, the Resident Doctors' Association of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences also condemned the gruesome attack and demanded the administration to increase the security of such areas and restrict the number of attendants for a patient.
In a letter, it said," We strictly condemn this incident and stand by the doctor in this time of need. We also thank the Assam police and administration to take prompt action regarding this incident and arrest the miscreants very quickly. We hope all other accomplices will be identified and arrested eventually. The need of the hour is the exemplary sentencing by the court of law on the lines of the National Securities Act 1980."