Two Safdarjung doctors, out on grocery shopping, assaulted; man arrested
At a time when doctors are risking their lives to battle the coronavirus pandemic, a man in Delhi assaulted two of them on Wednesday night, accusing them of spreading the deadly virus. The two female doctors, working at government-run Safdarjung Hospital, had stepped out to buy groceries in Gautam Nagar, where they live, when the man heckled them. He has now been arrested.
The incident happened around 10 pm, multiple reports said. Dr. Manish, President of Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) of Safdarjung Hospital said, "A man started questioning the doctors and asked why they had stepped out of their house. He accused them of spreading coronavirus." When the doctors raised an objection, the man slapped one and hit the other doctor on the hand.
Reports said the doctors weren't on COVID-19 duty, but none of their arguments convinced the 44-year-old man. He even touched one of them inappropriately. The doctors called the police but the attacker had fled by the time they arrived. The locals didn't divulge his details either, NDTV reports. The man was arrested this morning after an FIR was registered, the Delhi Police said.
Condemning the incident, Delhi's Health Minister Satyender Jain said, "Legal action will be taken against those who discriminate against doctors, paramedics, and healthcare workers."
Unfortunately, as coronavirus cases are rising, so are despicable attacks on doctors. In Surat, a woman doctor was allegedly harassed by her neighbors for being close to COVID-19 patients. A video of this attack went viral. The incident prompted the National Commission for Women (NCW) to write a letter to Shivanand Jha, IPS, Director General of Police, Gujarat, demanding a thorough investigation.
And last week, a bunch of doctors had to face stone-pelting in Indore when they went to screen suspected patients in the Tatt Patti Bakhal area. They were abused, and chased away. Police registered an FIR against 10 people. The next day the same bunch of doctors, flanked by security officials, returned to the area to finish what they started.
The attacks are continuing unabated despite a warning from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Likening doctors to God's incarnation, he had earlier said, "When I heard reports of them being harassed, I took it very seriously. It is a very grave issue for me. I have already told all state DGPs (police chiefs) to take the most strict action against those harassing them."