Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday condemned heckling and harassment of healthcare workers by police amid COVID-19 lockdown and said that it was unacceptable.
DAK in a statement said on May 23, two senior doctors Dr Shabir and Dr Syed Maqbool, both working at SMHS hospital, were beaten ruthlessly and even harassed by police in Srinagar.
“Both the doctors were on way to hospitals in their personal vehicles to perform their duties when this unfortunate incident happened when unfortunate incidents happened,” said president DAK, Dr Suhail Naik.
Dr Maqbool, an interventional cardiologist, has stated that he was on call on Saturday and was stopped at Hawal area of downtown when he was on way to SMHS hospital.
“I was stopped by a cop and asked to go through an alternate route, where there was a huge traffic mess. I was thrashed and lodged in police station Zaidbal for the whole day. I was also threatened not reveal that he was in police station,” the doctor stated.
However, the doctor’s body said the incident has caused immense sufferings to patients of the department where these doctors were supposed to perform their duties.
“Instead of their duties they were trying themselves to get released from the police stations as if they were criminals,” DAK said.
DAK said in another case the policemen not only rejected the doctor’s plea but also used foul language and took hold of his left index finger causing it to fracture.
It said that since the COVID-19 pandemic, duty roasters are made in such a way where more than half of the doctors are off from duties which has already created a tight situation in hospitals and there is the scope of reaching late or absenteeism.
“Since these unfortunate incidents have now become a routine which puts the whole police department in a bad light due to unruly behaviours of few officials,” DAK said.
It also said that many healthcare workers are facing trouble in reaching hospitals as they are stopped across places unnecessarily, which is an exhausting task.
DAK has also written a letter to Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone to put a comprehensive mechanism in place when dealing with doctors and other healthcare providers on duty by police officials.