There was drama at KEM Hospital in Parel last morning, after a ward boy was allegedly beaten up with a belt, threatened and then detained by a constable from Bhoiwada police station, after it was suspected that he had stolen from a doctor’s room in the hospital’s hostel premises.
The constable allegedly used his belt to assault Surve (above), who sustained minor injuries on his back
Speaking to MiD DAY, the victim, Suryakant Surve, said, “I was sitting on the 11th floor of the hostel building, which houses the quarters of a second year resident, Dr Manoj Bachau, of the hospital’s plastic surgery department. After he had taken his bath, he approached me, saying that his wallet, containing Rs 8,000 and a credit card, was missing from his room.”
“He then asked me why his room door was open, and whether I had seen his missing wallet. I informed him that I had no knowledge about it,” added Surve.
According to Surve, Dr Bachau then approached the police about his missing wallet, after which a constable, later identified as Sachin Jagtap, accompanied the resident doctor to the hostel. Here, the constable locked Surve inside the doctor’s room, beating him up with his belt.
“I was shocked. I kept telling him I was innocent and had not even seen the wallet. He removed his gun and threatened that he would shoot me if I did not confess. After that, I was taken to the police station, where I was put through the same ordeal,” said Surve.
After being kept in police custody for one-and-a-half hours, he was released. A bruised Surve informed his colleagues about the incident. He had sustained minor injuries on his back. Outraged, his colleagues gathered outside the dean’s office and demanded an explanation. They also demanded punitive action against the doctor and the constable.
“The doctor had not named Surve in his complaint. When the cops asked him who he had seen in or around the room, he mentioned Surve’s name. Does this prove that it was Surve who had stolen the wallet? Merely on the basis of suspicion, how can a constable beat up someone? This is not right. Attempts were also made to force Surve to admit to a crime that he had not committed. The fact that no official complaint has been registered against him and that he was released after being beaten up indicates that the police were simply trying to force him to confess,” said Madhuvanti Chauhan, assistant secretary of the Municipal Mazdoor Union.
Workers initially threatened not to clean any of the doctors’ rooms till action was taken against the doctor and the constable. However, they did not act on the threat after receiving an assurance of appropriate action from the dean and an official of Bhoiwada police station, later in the afternoon.
“The doctor should have approached the hospital security before going to the police. This was not the right thing to do. We will take necessary action against the doctor. Also, we have written to the senior officials at Bhoiwada police station to initiate action against the constable who beat Surve,” said Dr Shubhangi Parkar, acting dean, KEM Hospital.