Dr Vandana Das murder: Kerala moves swiftly to promulgate ordinance to prevent hospital attacks

In fact, everyone in the locality liked Vandana, the lone daughter of Mohandas and Vasantha Kumari of Nampichirakalayil house. Fondly called Vandu, she was a calm, silent and simple girl
Dr Vandana Das (25)
Dr Vandana Das (25)

A day after a medical intern was killed by a patient in Kollam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held talks with the representative of doctors' organisations, at his office on Thursday. He also called a high-level meeting to discuss the promulgation of an ordinance to amend the Hospital Protection Act -- The Kerala Health Service Persons and Healthcare Services Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act 2012 on Thursday evening. The meeting will be attended by Health Minister Veena George, Chief Secretary VP Joy, State Police Chief Anil Kant etc.

The doctors, however, decided to continue their strike till they get a timeframe for the issuance of an ordinance to protect the healthcare workers from hospital attacks.  During the meeting with the chief minister, the doctors demanded that the ordinance shall be named after Dr Vandana Das, who was slain on Wednesday. They also wanted the government to give adequate compensation to her parents.

The representatives of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) said they are monitoring the situation and a decision will be made based on the outcome of the government-level meeting.

"We will continue our strike till the concerns of the doctors are addressed. The government had assured the promulgation of the ordinance earlier also. So we cannot wait for it till we have a repeat of an attack," said the state president of the IMA, Dr Sulphi N.

IMA will convene its joint action council after the government-level meeting to discuss the next course of action. The doctors also demanded that the hospitals should be made special protection zones.

Also, the previous order to install CCTVs and employ security personnel shall be complied with.

The doctors declared a 24-hour strike on Wednesday and it was extended to Thursday as well. The doctors from the private, government, and ESI sectors will participate in the strike. They have decided to stop all services except emergency services during the strike.

Shocking murder

Vandana, a young doctor, had been stabbed to death by a man she was treating at Kottarakkara taluk hospital in the early hours of Wednesday.

The 25-year-old doctor was attacked by S Sandeep, who was brought to the hospital with multiple injuries by the police after he sought their help claiming that he was assaulted by neighbours, officers said.

Sandeep, 42, a school teacher, was brought to the casualty allegedly in an "inebriated" condition.

While being attended to by the medical staff, he turned violent and stabbed those around him with a pair of scissors.

Vandana succumbed to her injuries at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. Her autopsy report says there were 11 stab wounds on her body.

Sandeep took the scissors from the dressing table and attacked his neighbour and distant relative Binu and home guard Alexkutty, who were standing outside the dressing room, said a report filed by the state police chief before the Kerala High Court.

ASI Manilal, who was on aid-post duty, intervened and he was also attacked, it said.

Hospital ambulance driver Rajesh S had told The New Indian Express that Sandeep assaulted others before attacking Vandana.

"I heard screaming and rushed to the casualty. I saw the assailant stabbing a police officer. Though i tried to grab him from behind, he stabbed me and injured my left arm. The SI reached the spot, but Sandeep attacked him on the head," he said.

A nameplate that speaks volumes

'Dr Vandana Das MBBS', reads the nameplate outside K G Mohandas' house at Pattalamukk near Kuruppanthara in Kottayam. The proud father had got it fixed on one of the pillars of the house's entrance gate without waiting for the completion of his daughter's house surgency.

Though simple in appearance, it speaks volumes of Mohandas' love and affection for Vandana.

In fact, everyone in the locality liked Vandana, the lone daughter of Mohandas and Vasantha Kumari of Nampichirakalayil house.

Fondly called Vandu, she was a calm, silent and simple girl, who always had a smile on her face.

"She was extremely passionate about becoming a doctor as she wanted to serve people," said Dr Jishnu Shaji, her former classmate. He still can't believe what happened.

"I can't understand how a man can attack such a girl," he said.

Vandana was killed just weeks ahead of a reception that was planned in her honour by the SNDP Kuruppanthara branch on May 28 to celebrate successful completion of her MBBS.

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