Ramnad govt hospital doctors to boycott outpatient services after DSP allegedly harasses medicos 

While denying the allegations of manhandling, Ramnad SP E Karthik admitted that they could have been let off after they identified themselves as doctors, rather than being taken to the police station

Published: 28th April 2021 11:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th April 2021 11:27 PM   |  A+A-

Bengaluru City Police personnel check a motorist during the weekend lockdown, imposed as a measure to contain the spread of Covid-19, in Bengaluru on Sunday. (Photo | Ashishkrishna HP)

For representational purposes (Photo | Ashishkrishna HP)

By Express News Service

RAMANATHAPURAM/MADURAI: Two government doctors, posted on Covid duty at a Covid Care Centre (CCC) in Paramakudi, on Wednesday alleged that they had been manhandled and verbally abused by a high-ranking police official on Tuesday night. 

Condemning the incident, the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association (TNGDA) has announced a boycott of outpatient services at Paramakudi and Ramanathapuram government hospitals on Thursday. 

According to sources, Dr. R Manikandan, Additional Medical Officer at Valinokkam Primary Health Centre, and Dr. V Vignesh, Medical Officer of Parthibanur Block PHC were on Covid duty (deputation) at the care centre established at the Paramakudi Government Arts College.

Dr. Manikandan told The New Indian Express that they both live at Sayalkudi and so opted for 24-hour Covid duty at the care centre. 

"On Tuesday night, we both set out on Vignesh's sports bike to buy some essentials from a petty shop, around 500-700 metres from the care centre,” he said. 

While at the petty store at around 8.40 pm, the duo was reportedly spotted by Paramakudi DSP S Velmurugan, who was on night patrol, and was questioned by him and his driver. 

"The DSP asked how doctors could ride race bikes, and his driver repeatedly forced us to get into the police van in which five other cops and a man in his 50s were already there. Driving around the town for over an hour, the police randomly picked up anyone found on streets by threatening them," Dr Manikandan said. 

"After taking us to the Paramakudi Town police station and making us stand at the junction, the DSP began to thrash the man in his 50s for no fault of his and verbally abused him. Later, the DSP told us that the public fear the police and not doctors. For no fault of ours, the DSP even threatened that he would file an FIR against us that would deprive us of our government doctor posts," the doctor alleged. 

The duo was finally let off at around 10.15 pm and reportedly walked 3km to take the two-wheeler. 

"As we both had not eaten dinner, we were fatigued and received treatment for it at the Paramakudi government hospital. We finally managed to return to duty at around 12.30 am on Wednesday," the doctor added. 

On Wednesday, they both handed over a written complaint to SP E Karthik, alleging police high-handedness towards healthcare workers on Covid duty. They also sought action against the DSP. Strongly condemning the incident, the State president of TNGDA Dr. K Senthil urged the State government to dismiss the DSP from service. 

"As a mark of initial protest, doctors would boycott outpatient services at the Paramakudi Government Hospital and at the Ramanathapuram Government Hospital," he said. 

In his statement, Dr. Senthil said that the doctors would resort to a statewide agitation in case of police inaction. 

While denying the allegations that the duo was manhandled, Ramnad SP E Karthik admitted that they could have been let off after they identified themselves as doctors, rather than being taken to the police station for questioning.

He told The New Indian Express that an altercation had broken out when the duo was taken to the police station for inquiry. 

"The DSP, who suspected unwarranted movement on a high-speed motor vehicle around the time of night curfew, took them for inquiry. However, the two doctors could have been let off on the spot when they identified themselves as doctors on Covid duty and they need not have been taken to the police station. Given the Covid situation, taking many people to the police station for interrogation could have been avoided," he said. 

"The DSP was summoned and an inquiry is underway," the SP added.


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