Assam: Mob beats 73-year-old doctor to death, 21 detained
A murderous mob took the life of a 73-year-old doctor in Assam only because he was not "present" at the hospital when a worker needed treatment. This case is one of the several mob lynching incidents which have rocked India recently. After the death of the elderly doctor, who was serving an extension in the tea estate, 21 were detained. Here are the details.
Tea worker was admitted when doctor wasn't present
The deceased doctor was identified as Dr. Deben Dutta, one of the senior-most practitioners in Jorhat. He retired a long time ago but continued working. On Saturday, when he was out, a worker named Somra Majhi, was brought to the garden hospital. Majhi was employed as a temporary worker at Teok Tea Estate. In the absence of Dr. Dutta, the nurse administered preliminary treatment.
After Majhi died, mob attacked Dr. Dutta, eventually killing him
Unfortunately, Majhi couldn't be saved. Later, a mob, comprising at least 250 people, unleashed their "anger" on Dr. Dutta. "They hit him and cut him with glass shards. He suffered head and leg injuries," said Jorhat SP NV Chandrakant. Police rescued Dr. Dutta, took him to Jorhat Medical College and Hospital (JMCH), but he died en route. Chandrakant confirmed the detention of 21.
Secretary of tea workers' organization said Majhi suffered stroke
About Majhi's death, secretary of Jorhat leg of Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), Nilesh Gond, said he fell in a bathroom, possibly due to stroke. "The doctor came 30 minutes after the patient was brought in but by then Majhi was already dead. That infuriated the workers and they assaulted him. We condemn the violence," he added, revealing that the aforementioned 21 belong to tea tribe community.
Meanwhile, company revealed everyone is living in fear now
The tea garden is owned by Kolkata-based Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited. In a lock-out notice, the company said all executives "feared for their lives". "The murderous crowd didn't allow any medical attention to be given to the Senior Medical Officer and they also prevented the ambulance from reaching him for about an hour," the company added. The lock-out will continue until the situation improves.
IMA and West Bengal Doctors Forum staunchly condemned the violence
The unfortunate and totally despicable assault on Dr. Dutta provoked condemnation from bodies like Indian Medical Association (IMA) and West Bengal Doctors Forum (WBDF). "Dr. Dutta was a physician who had involved himself in the service of his community even after retirement! The people he served thanked him by murdering him in front of police," WBDF said in a statement on Sunday.
In scathing statement, WBDF said Dr. Dutta's deeds were forgotten
"Decades of service, out-of-hour help, solicited advice to patients he served were washed away, forgotten and violently trashed by a moment of service inadequacy. A life spent on giving and helping was snatched away mercilessly by the very people he called his own," WBDF said.
IMA's Assam unit has called for a strike on Tuesday
Meanwhile, the Assam unit of IMA said this was the third major assault on doctors serving in tea gardens, in recent times. IMA said all medical services, barring emergency, will be suspended for 24 hours from 6 AM on Tuesday, September 3, till 6 AM on Wednesday. The body has also called for a candlelight procession at 7 PM tomorrow.