Dr. Muzaffer Ahmad, an epidemiologist, was allegedly beaten by the Central Reserved Police Forces (CRPF) in Chadoora area of Budgam district when he was on way to his office on Wednesday morning.
“CRPF personnel stopped me at the chowk and I showed them my Covid-19 pass. They told me to move back but I insisted that I am a doctor and I have Covid-19 movement pass. They told me to move aside and then started beating me severely. They were hitting my legs with batons,” Dr. Muzaffer told Outlook.
“At the same time, an official from deputy commissioner of Budgam’s office was moving from the area and he rescued me. I talked to my chief medical officer and he has taken up the issue with the police,” he said.
Dr. Tajamul Hussain, Chief medical officer, Budgam, said doctors are frontline workers who put their lives at risk in these times to save others and they shouldn’t be treated like this. He said Dr. Muzaffer had been severely beaten and it is unacceptable. "He has suffered bone injuries,” Dr. Tajamul said.
Dr Tajamul said he took up the issue with SSP of Budgam. He said the officer heard them and assured them that action would be taken on the complaint.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Budgam did not respond for a comment for this story. CRPF was also contacted, but they did not respond either. As and when they do, the story will be updated.
Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) condemned the alleged assault against the senior doctor.
In a statement, Dr Suhail Naik, President, DAK, said there seems to be no end to violence against healthcare workers. He said that during the last three months, many cases of harassment and beating of healthcare workers have come forward and they should be investigated.
“Doctors do not need sweets but hassle free movement, which is important to reach hospitals on time and save patients,” he said.
On Wednesday last week, police across Kashmir, in a goodwill gesture, distributed sweets and flowers to doctors at different hospitals across the valley after protests by medicos and paramedics over alleged misbehaviour, harassment and manhandling by the cops.
"What is required is discipline on the roads by security forces and hassle free movement of doctors and other health care workers,” Dr. Naik said. “It seems the government is waiting for a strike by doctors, which actually is not a people friendly move during the COVID-19 emergency," he said.
“There is a lot of resentment among healthcare workers against such episodes of beating and thrashing of doctors, as has been seen recent past,” Dr. Naik added.