Doctors protest against police harassment by wearing black bands

Police honours COVID warrior doctors at LD Hospital in Srinagar on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Shakeel
Police honours COVID warrior doctors at LD Hospital in Srinagar on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Shakeel

Cops offer flowers to docs in various hospitals

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, May 27: With rising cases of police harassment against healthcare workers on roads amid COVID-19, the doctors as well as the paramedics today wore black bands across hospitals, Health Centres in J&K to protest against alleged police harassment.
The doctors working across J&K throughout the day wore black bands as a mark of protest and in support of their colleagues who were either harassed or were not allowed to commute on the roads over the period of the last few days.
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The doctors said that while they are out to protect the human lives in the times of pandemic, the treatment they are meted with by the police is unfortunate and is potent of disheartening the doctors.
“You have to understand that we are risking our lives, including our family members’ and while we are out to perform duties, we are harassed, as if we are criminals,” a doctor posted at CHC Sumbal said.
A doctor at District Hospital, Bandipora said that almost a week ago due some emergency he had to come back to the hospital after he had gone back at the end of his duty, but he could not make it on time.
“The seniors called me back due to some emergency; it was almost midnight, but I was not allowed to move by the police and my colleagues at the hospital had to carry on without me—I reached late,” he said.
He said that such an attitude is detrimental for the healthcare services that are to be provided in the times that are tough and scary.
“You have to imagine, if it is difficult for doctors to reach somewhere, how hard it is going to be for the non-COVID patients to reach the hospitals,” the doctors said.
The doctors also demanded that while their identity cards, other credentials are not considered, the administration should provide them with special passes which can make sure that they are not stopped or harassed anywhere.
It is worth to be mentioned here that over the period of the last few days, several doctors were harassed by the police when they were either returning from their duties or, were heading towards their respective hospitals.
The recent case of harassment was that of the CMO Bandipora and the senior faculty members at the Lal Ded Hospital Srinagar. Earlier, a known cardiologist was stopped, beaten , and later detained by the police.
Meanwhile, after facing fierce criticism for alleged harassment of healthcare workers, the J&K Police today offered flowers, sweets to the doctors across several hospitals in Kashmir.
While reacting to the gesture, the doctors said that the police should not confine it to just offering flowers and sweets, “rather, it should reflect on the roads,” they said.
“Distributing sweets and flowers to health workers is a welcome gesture and we hope such gestures will have long term practical implications. Police must abide by the law of the land,” President Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK), Dr Suhail Naik said.