Epidemiologist beaten to ‘pulp’ in Budgam

Irfan Tramboo

Srinagar, June 3: A senior doctor was today beaten to pulp by CRPF in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district when he was on his way to Chief Medical Officer’s (CMOs) office in district headquarters for routine duty.
After leaving from his home early in the morning, he was stopped at Chadoora by the CRPF. It was near the area which was earlier declared as Red Zone and the security forces were on doing the containment when the doctor wanted to pass through the area.
Dr Muzzafar Ahmad, who is a District Epidemiologist for Budgam told Excelsior that when he reached near the spot he was stopped. When asked, he said, he showed his identity card, but to no avail.
“When I reached there, CRPF men told me to stay away and not to approach the road which would lead to the other spot where a colleague of mine was waiting for me with a vehicle; I showed them my identity card, even the COVID pass that has been given to us, but to no avail,” he said.
He added that he was asked to take another route and not the one he was intending to. “I told them that this road leads to Srinagar and that I have to go to the other way, but they did not budge; in the meantime, out of nowhere, they pounced on me, beating me to the fullest,” he said.
It was when some locals came and rescued the doctor and took him to the CMO office.
It is pertinent to mention here, that being the District Epidemiologist, he is tasked to be on the frontlines when it comes to tracing and surveillance of COVID-19 positive cases in the district.
When contacted, PRO CRPF Pankaj Singh told Excelsior that there has been some misunderstanding and the CRPF men who stopped the doctor could not distinguish if the person approaching them was doctor.
“There just have been some arguments. We are meeting with the concerned later in the evening and the matter will be amicable resolved,” he said.
CMO, Budgam Dr Tajamul Hussain told Excelsior that he expressed his resentment in front of the higher-ups and that he has been assured that action will be taken.
“Who does this; he (the doctor) is the backbone of the COVID-19 work that has been carried out in the district so far. He has been beaten to pulp. He is having muscle tear, soft tissue injury; he is not able to walk properly,” he said.
He said that he has taken up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner, Budgam as well who has assured him action in the matter. “I have expressed my anguish; what has happened is unfortunate,” he said.
Meanwhile, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has condemned the assault on Dr Muzzafar by CRPF while stressing for hassle-free movement of medical staff across Kashmir.