Doctors at a super-speciality hospital in Srinagar’s Shireen Bagh on Tuesday (May 26) held a token protest against the alleged harassment of healthcare professionals by police in Kashmir.
The doctors were holding posters that read, “They may stop us, beat us, strip us, arrest us but we will always be there for you.”
Meanwhile, a video of Chief Medical Officer, Bandipora, Dr Tajamul Hussain being stopped by police has gone viral on social media.
The medical officer was on his way to inspect a quarantine centre and sample collection centre in the north Kashmir district.
CMO Bandipora stopped by @bandiporapolice near new district hospital complex at Nusoo while he was on way to visit quarantine centres and sample collection centres. CMO Bandipora said he was allowed to move only after the intervention of @DDCBandipora and DySP headquarter Bpr. pic.twitter.com/Wg3O1pC3lw
— Ejaz-ul-haq Bhat (@ejaz_bhatt) May 26, 2020
“I was on way to Chitarnar area sampling site and on official duty. When we reached near Nasoo, there was a checkpoint, they were not allowing vehicles. My driver approached them and said it is the CMO’s vehicle and he begged before them to please let us go. When they didn’t listen, then only I came down and shouted and screamed,” The Indian Express quoted Tajamul as saying.
Tajamul was travelling in his official vehicle, on which an emergency light was installed. He is seen telling the police officials in the video, “We are here to fight COVID. Didn’t you see this is health vehicle? … This is the CMO’s vehicle. You are harassing doctors,” he said.
Tajamul also told The Indian Express that he was allowed to proceed only after the intervention of senior officers. “From the spot, I contacted DM sahib who even told me to make him talk to the cops. They didn’t listen. Then a DySP officer reached to the spot and I was allowed to move,” he said.
“I know they are doing the duty and they can check the vehciles, but there are clear instructions from DM that health workers shouldn’t be stopped at all. Isn’t this harassment by the police?” he questioned.
However, SP Bandipora Rahul Malik, on the other hand, said that the matter was resolved on the spot. “There was no harassment by the police,” he told The Indian Express.
In a statement, he said to The Indian Express, “Video clip of CMO Bandipora as it doesn’t serve any purpose rather give unnecessary weight to sensationalism. Matter was resolved there and then on spot. Confusion was there because of DC order yesterday who banned entire traffic from nussu to Nowpora. So, police was following those directions. Matter was resolved amicably.”
Last week, a senior doctor was allegedly humiliated and detained for a day by policemen in Srinagar while he was on way to the hospital. Dr Syed Maqbool, a senior cardiologist, had alleged that he was beaten up and abused by the policemen.
The incident has sparked outrage in the medical fraternity with Principal, Government Medical College Srinagar, Dr Samia Rashid calling for a swift action.
After the incident came to light, SSP, Srinagar, Haseeb Mughal had ordered a probe into it. He had said a complaint has been registered against the doctor for allegedly preventing a policeman from doing his duty.
The Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has called for a one-day black band protest against these incidents. “We are announcing a one day black band protest on Wednesday over the excesses by government forces against the healthcare providers,” DAK president Suhail Naik said in a statement on Tuesday.