Slurs fly thick and fast in brawl between doctors and staff at Delhi govt hospital

A doctor has alleged that the ward boys assaulted him and used slurs against him as he was Muslim while the ward boys have accused the doctor of using casteist slurs against them.
Express Illustration.
Express Illustration.

NEW DELHI: A heated argument between a doctor and a ward boy turned into a brawl where both sides accused each other of using communal and casteist slurs. The case was reported at MCD-run Hindu Rao Hospital last week.

The doctor, Ali Ur Rahman, has alleged the ward boy ganged up with others to physically assault him. “We’ll send you back to Pakistan,” they allegedly shouted at the doctor because of his Muslim identity.

The ward boys accused the doctor of using casteist slurs. The ward boy-cum-sanitation worker, Prakash Kumar, is a Dalit, according to officials.

When the matter was reported to higher officials, an investigative committee was set up. Its findings led to the transfer of two persons who allegedly assaulted the doctor, including Prakash.

However, the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) and the hospital union, which supports the ward boys, have threatened an indefinite strike.

The hospital employees union has accused the authorities of a biased investigation while the RDA has called the transfers “inadequate punishment” to justify the assault.

Hospital officials said that things went wrong in the early hours of August 16 when the ward boy Prakash approached Doctor Rahman with a patient. Rahman, who is in the surgery department, was called repeatedly to attend to the patient. However, since the case was critical, the doctor on duty sent the patient along with Prakash directly to Rahman. An argument ensued as Rahman asked the ward boy to take back the patient. Later, when their respective shifts got over, both sides clashed.

Dr Siddharth Tara, former president of RDA, said Rahman was slapped by a group of ward boys who used communal slurs against him. However, Ajay Kumar, ex-president, the Hindu Rao Hospital Employees Union, denied that physical assault happened and alleged that the group of doctors used casteist slurs against the ward boys.

The RDA is demanding an institutional FIR in the case and suspension of the accused ward boy till the whole inquiry is complete.

“The hospital administration and MCD have denied to file an FIR and asked Rahman to do it on an individual level. We wanted suspension of the ward boys but it was also denied. This sends a clear message that all the rules are for the victims but not for the assailants,” Dr Siddharth Tara said.

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