Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash
This is the shocking moment an angry mob storms a hospital in India and beats a doctor after hearing news that a loved one had died of COVID-19, leading to the arrest of 24 people the following day.
The incident happened at the Udali Covid Care Centre in the district of Hojai located in the Indian state of Assam where several grieve-stricken people raided a care centre on 1st June.
The victim was identified as Dr Seuj Kumar Senapati, age not disclosed, who was reportedly a recently graduated doctor and had been posted at the COVID-19 facility.
The medical centre received a patient who became critically ill after being infected with COVID-19, but died due to complications with the virus.
Local media said news of his death was not well-received by his entourage as over a dozen people, including family members, later stormed the facilities, brutally attacked Dr Seuj and vandalised the care centre.
One video shows the defenceless doctor screaming as the angry mob encircle him and brutally beat him with steel bedpans, broomsticks and other objects.
Dr Seuj is seen at the mercy of the mob as he raises his arms to protect himself before he is picked up and taken by his aggressors.
A second video shows the doctor taken outside where more people start to beat him. Moments of chaos ensue when a person wearing what appears to be a security outfit helps to free the medical worker who appears to go back inside.
The cameraperson seemingly tries to stop the attackers from entering again but to no avail as the video ends shortly after a man is seen going back in.
Dr Seuj, who reportedly did not receive any life-threatening injuries, told local media that he went to check on the patient but found he had already passed away. He added: “His relatives started abusing and beating me after that.”
The video has generated anger among citizens, medical workers and officials who condemned the act and assured swift action against the attackers.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma issued a tweet the day after the assault (2nd June) saying: “24 culprits involved in this barbaric attack have been arrested and the charge sheet will be filed at the earliest. I am personally monitoring this investigation and I promise that justice will be served.” (sic)
The incident led to some doctor associations issuing statements condemning the assault, including the Assam Medical Service Association (AMSA) who went as far as threatening to cease their work if something like this happens again.
Their statement said: “If next time, any such incident occurs to any health workers, AMSA will immediately go for complete cease work of all services all over the state.”
Official Association of Resident Doctors’ of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) wrote yesterday (2nd June): “Resident Doctors Association AIIMS demands strict action against the perpetrators according to the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and prevention of any such incidents in future.” (sic)
The investigation continues.