A popular civil surgeon, who had publicly raised the absence of adequate protection in the form of masks and PPE suits for healthcare professionals at the government hospital, has been admitted to a mental health institute in Vizag after he was publicly manhandled by the police for staging a dharna.
Dr K. Sudhakar Rao, a senior civil surgeon at a government hospital in Narsipatnam, Visakhapatnam district, has been in the news in recent weeks after he was suspended from service.
Dr Sudhakar took media to raise the issue of lack of facilities as per the coronavirus treatment protocol for the Covid-19 doctors, nurses, and others at the Nasaripatnam government hospital.
The government took umbrage at the doctor’s public utterance of displeasure and the result was his suspension.
Dr Sudhakar, who is popular among the public as a decent doctor, hit the headlines again on Saturday when he had staged a protest at a hospital on Beach Road, Vizag ostensibly against his suspension.
But, what has shocked the medical fraternity is the manner in which Dr Sudhakar Rao was “manhandled” by the police on the road before the hospital when he was staging a protest bare-chested against his suspension and the government indifference to completing the due process of his suspension.
Rao got his head tonsured in protest against the way he was being harassed by the department authorities.
Sources close to him told the trenndingtelugunews.com that he had even been denied the salary.
Following a complaint, Vizag Fourth Town police rushed to the hospital with ropes. Devastating videos, widely shared in the social media, show how Dr Sudhakar Rao’s hands were tied behind his back as if he was a hardcore criminal.
Police were seen kicking and hitting him and dragging him to the police station. The next morning, he was shifted to the KG Hospital, where doctors referred him to the Mental Health Care Centre.
“Police control room had received a call from a person creating nuisance at Beach Road Hospital Vizag. Then Fourth Town police rushed there and found that the person was none other than the suspended doctor Dr Sudhakar Rao of Narsipatnam. When police tried to control him, he had angrily taken away the mobile of the police and threw it away. He is suffering from psychological problems. He was drunk. So he was sent to a medical examination. The constable who kicked him was suspended and another one who put the lathi on his neck is being questioned, ” RK Meena, City Police commissioner told media.
The treatment of Dr Sudhakar Rao has left the medical fraternity dumb-founded.
The IMA vice president Dr Gangadhar took strong objection to the way the senior doctor was thrashed and dragged to the police station in full public glare.
He said: “The IMA takes strong exception to the brutality with which the police arrested Dr. Sudhakar. He is a senior civil surgeon and a qualified doctor to treat Covid-19, a rare resource at present times. He has been suspended more than a month ago and no due process followed. He might have staged a dharna due to depression. If he had abused the chief minister, there are ways to deal with it. Ill-treatment of a doctor is no justification for the wrong Dr Sudhakar committed by talking against the chief minister or the police.”
Dr Gangadhar added that IMA would fight for justice for Dr Sudhakar.
But, the circumstances of the protest and the reasons for his depression were, obviously, not taken into account by the police, Dr Gangadhar told trendingtelugunews.com
Dr Manne Veeraiah Chowdhary, Indian Medical Association (IMA) president, Prakasam district, told The Lede: “Both sides behaved in the most inappropriate manner. Dr Sudhakar is a civil surgeon which is equivalent to the rank of a superintendent of police (SP). He should not have been taken into custody in such a reprehensible manner. Even Dr Sudhakar is wrong in abusing the police and the chief minister in an objectionable language. But, it is entirely a different matter and doesn’t warrant misbehavior by the police. Even if he had consumed liquor, its no justification for the police excesses.”
It is best evident in the statement of the police commissioner RK Meena who described Dr Sudhakar Rao as “mentally ill” even before the Superintendent of the King George hospital, Dr S. Radharani made a statement.
Dr Radharani said : “Dr Sudhakar is anxious, he is continuously talking irrelevant things. So, we have referred him to the mental health care Centre.”