SDM, CMO assure probe
Sopore: During a raid on Sopore sub-district hospital on Monday night, the police harassed the medical staff and volunteers who have been offering services to patients and attendants, hospital employees said.
“They searched every nook and corner. They were very high-handed, abusive and harassed staff and volunteers. Even some patients were not spared,” a hospital employee, requesting anonymity, told Kashmir Reader.
“They took me along during the raid and kept looking everywhere, even in the labour rooms. There is sanctity to a hospital. Normally not even hospital staff is allowed into labour rooms without permission,” another staff member said.
Police were apparently on the look for stone pelters and repeatedly asked the hospital staff to show them where the boys were hiding.
“We kept assuring them that this is a hospital and we only have in-house patients here, but they won’t listen and started threatening us. We appeal to the government to stop its forces from creating fear psychosis here,” the employee added.
Govt forces have increased night patrolling hours during the past few days and intensified restrictions during night hours in Sopore. As a result any travel during night has become very risky.
“We are very afraid of ferrying emergency patients during nights. We risk our lives to transport critical patients (in case of a referral) to Srinagar in these conditions,” a group of ambulance drivers told the reporter.
The staff of the hospital, and attendants of patients, demonstrated against the police in the hospital premises.
Sopore chief medical officer Bashir Ahmad Chalkoo pacified the protesters. He said, “A hospital is an important place and it can’t be searched in this manner, without permission.”
“It is tragic that they have now started raiding hospitals like this. We will ensure that a proper investigation is carried out and such actions are not repeated in future,” he added.
Sopore sub-district magistrate Bashir Ahmad Bhat said the raid “is completely uncalled for”.
“I will take up this matter with higher authorities and ensure that action is taken,” he said.
The CMO also appealed to the youth to refrain from damaging ambulances.
“Don’t attack ambulances during stone pelting as it’s for the welfare of the society. More than 17 ambulances have been damaged in stone pelting incidents in the last month.”
Sopore superintendent of police Harmeet Singh told media persons on phone the police was “performing its duty”, and while searching the hospital they didn’t harass anyone.”
“If anybody has been harassed he should come to me and make a complaint. I will take strict action against the erring cops,” the SP added.