Coronavirus Stigma: Doctor gets thrashed by neighbours, appeals to IMA
Meerut: Despite the tireless service to the current crisis of Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic, another doctor has fallen victim to the stigma of the disease. In a recent incident, a Meerut based doctor is reported to have been thrashed and harassed by his neighbours who were allegedly afraid of catching the virus from the doctor who is deployed as an associate professor in community medicine department of Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College (LLRM Medical College).
Following the incident, the doctor had approached the police, however, his grief, the police reportedly did not take the plea seriously after which the doctor moved the Indian Medical Association (IMA) with his complaint.
In a letter written to the Indian Medical Association to seek help for justice, the doctor has stated while he and his family lived in a house in Shastri Nagar locality for over 7 years, residents had no complaints. However, everything went south in the past 10 to 12 days as he was being seen as someone who spread corona and residents pressuring him to vacate his residence at the same time.
"The residents have been harassing my family and adopting different ways to pressurise us to vacate our rented house," said the doctor adding that on April 17th night, they attacked him and fractured his arm. This took place after the doctor resisted against the makeshift Guard Room which was allegedly placed outside his house that day by the neighbours deliberately where he parks his car.
Speaking to HT about their dilemma and the stigma that his son has been facing amid the coronavirus epidemic, the doctor's father informed that a tree was cut because they used to throw its dry leaves in the nearby open area and people were scared that it may spread corona as his son was a doctor in the medical college and prone to infection.Read ALso: Coronavirus Stigma: Nurses face racial taunts in Assam
The doctor said that he often moved between his home and college and a few days back the residents locked the colony's gates.
The doctor also charged the police with siding with the accused. He said that while he has registered an FIR on the incident, the police denied the charges and said that the incident is a fallout of an ongoing dispute of Dr Bhatnagar with some residents on the issue of the Guard Room, reports The Statesman. He alleged that the IPS son of a neighbour might be behind twisting the case.
An FIR has been filed against three persons under IPC sections 325 (punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), reports TOI
He said that cops in Nauchandi police station misled him about helping in writing a complaint and directed him to write what they dictated. "They ignored my repeated queries that why the issue of corona had not been included in my complaint and that it was incomplete. But they didn't hear me and later declared that the incident had nothing to do with corona and the scuffle broke out on the issue of placing the kiosk for the guard," he said, as quoted by HT.
However, offering a whole different scenario, the SHO Kumar told The Hindu, "The guard's cabin's position changes every month. This month the cabin was to be placed near the doctor's residence to which he objected as he parked his car at that spot. According to our probe, he threw the guard's chair on the street. When one of the neighbours hurled it back, he got hurt. In his complaint, the doctor's father has not mentioned that the throwing of the chair had something to do with his son's working in hospital dedicated to COVID-19."
Narrating this whole ordeal, the doctor has now sought justice from the IMA which, on the complaint of the doctor, convened a meeting to discuss the matter recently. IMA's secretary for Meerut Chapter Dr Anil Naushran informed that it has been decided to extend complete support to him from the IMA.
With the rise in cases of COVID 19 cases, the stigma around it is increasing, evidently creating a havoc in the lives of doctors, who are in the frontline of the Indian medical fraternity's battle against the virus.Read Also: Coronavirus Fear: 8 men assault doctor with sticks, made to clean hospital as punishment