Congress MLA Vinay Kulkarni allegedly slapped Dr Devraj Raichur, a paediatrician, at the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences here on Sunday, accusing him of causing the death of a six-year-old girl through negligence.
Following the incident, KIMS doctors protested in front of Vidyanagar police station, but did not press charges against the MLA after Minister of State for Medical Education Dr Sharan Prakash Patil reportedly intervened and requested them “not to tarnish the image of the new Congress government”.
Megha Hadimani (6) of Lakkamanahalli in Dharward district, who was undergoing treatment for suspected dengue, died around 9 pm on Saturday after being administered an injection.
Her father Manjunath Hadimani alleged that KIMS doctors had administered the wrong injection. MLA Kulkarni, along with his supporters, questioned Dr Raichur, the Head of the Department, over the incident. It is said that since Dr Raichur did not answer Kulkarni, an argument ensued, which led to Kulkarni slapping the doctor.
KIMS Associate Professor and paediatrician Dr Raghavendra Desai said, “Megha was admitted on June 6. She had a history of congenital heart disease. She developed a fever which was later diagnosed as viral. Around 9 pm on Saturday, she started to convulse and did not respond to treatment. Relevant injections were administered, but the girl died five minutes later.” Hubli-Dharwad Police Commissioner B A Padmanayan said, “Discussions were held with doctors and the police officials concerned. An amicable solution has been arrived at and the doctors have decided not to press charges.”
It may be recalled that the Karnataka Prohibition of Violence Against Medicare Service Personnel & Damage to Property in Medicare Services Institution Bill, 2009, provides for punishment up to three years for people who attack doctors.
“The girl died due to doctors’ negligence and there is no doubt about this. With respect to the allegations of manhandling, I did not do anything. In the heat of the moment, I pushed him and that’s about it,” clarified Congress MLA Vinay Kulkarni.