Police refuses filing FIR, doctors mulling legal recourse, strike
SRINAGAR: A resident doctor at Sri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital was assaulted by a junior police officer during his duty hours triggering protests in the medical college and its associated hospital. The doctors alleged that station house officer of police station Ram Munshi Bagh Mohammad Ishaq’s relative was admitted in the intensive care unit of the hospital where he assaulted the doctor on duty.
Witnesses said Ishaq accompanied by his escort, all in civvies, thrashed the doctor while insisting to look after his patient exclusively. Dr Owais Wani, who was allegedly beaten up told Kashmir Reader that at around 8:15 pm on Tuesday, Ishaq repeatedly barged into the ICU and asked doctors to treat his patient, who reportedly was his mother admitted about a week ago at the hospital after she complained of high fever.
“We were four people inside the unit treating three patients. All of the patients were being monitored by the staff present in the unit. But he (Ishaq) barged inside the unit more than four times and asked us to have a look at his patient which we were already doing without anyone’s force,” Wani said.
Stranger to him then, Wani says, he instructed Ishaq to sit outside as attendants were not allowed inside the unit for medical reasons.
“During the late night, when they were outside the ward, he (Ishaq) shouted at me to come out. Unaware about his mentality, I went to see him. But as soon as I came out, he (Ishaq) and his fellow personnel pounced upon me and thrashed me mercilessly,” Wani told Kashmir Reader. With no one around to rescue him, Wani with bruised neck and head, went straight to chief medical officer, who accompanied him to police station Karan Nagar to lodge a complaint.
“When we (hospital staff and few police officials from Karan Nagar police station) rushed to find the culprit, policemen expressed helplessness to take any action after the culprit turned out to be a senior police official. While everyone thought it is a patient-attendant conflict and needs to be sought out, the culprit however without any guilt, abused me continuously,” Wani said.
On next day, when Wani attended the hospital, he fell unconscious and was admitted at the hospital for the treatment. While a complaint has been lodged at concerned police station, the resident doctors have decided to boycott the normal work till an FIR is lodged by the police station Karan Nagar.
Medical superintendent SMHS, Dr Nazir Choudhary told Kashmir Reader that they were ascertaining the facts and they will pursue the case against the culprit even if they have to take the legal course.
“We haven’t registered any FIR yet. But we have received a letter of complaint from doctors, we will pursue the case of action even if we have to fight the legal battle,” he said.
While SHO, police station Karan Nagar, Mudasir Shafi refused to comment on the issue, an official at the police station told Kashmir Reader that they are just acting on the phone call made by someone from the hospitals. “We are investigating the matter,” he said.
Ishaq refused to comment on the incident saying he was in a meeting when reached by Kashmir Reader over phone.
Meanwhile, Doctors Association Kashmir condemned the assault on a resident doctor by a police officer.
A statement issued by DAK said that Dr Owais Wani was beaten ruthlessly by a cop without any provocation at SMHS Hospital and this “highhandedness of a policeman against the concerned doctor is barbaric and worth condemnation”.
“It is pathetic that the health personnel have to face such inhuman behaviour whereas they give their heart out in serving the patients. Such incidents not only demoralize the entire medical fraternity but they also lose faith in the system as the erring persons always go scot free without going through any due punishment,” DAK chairperson GA Mir said in statement.
A delegation of DAK headed by its Spokesperson Dr Mir Mushtaq went to SMHS Hospital to express solidarity with the victim.
DAK asked the authorities to book the culprit as per law and any delay in this regard will result in a state wide agitation by the medical fraternity.