Mumbai: 'Scared' cops run off, leave doctor at violent druggie's mercy
An accused, who was brought to Govandi's Shatabdi hospital for treatment, assaulted an on-duty doctor with a shaving blade, even as his police escort party fled for safety
Mankhurd resident Mohammed Ali Shamsud alias Samsher Shaikh (30) gets beaten up by people after a public altercation.
These don't seem to be the best times for doctors. Even as the fight between resident doctors and the state continues, it has come to light that when four personnel from Trombay police station came to Govandi's Shatabdi hospital on March 9 with a Mankhurd resident, Mohammed Ali Shamsud alias Samsher Shaikh (30), to get his wound treated and bandaged, Shaikh, under the influence of drugs, assaulted the doctor present in the dressing room with a shaving blade, while the policemen allegedly ran for safety.
The incident comes even as the striking 4,500 resident doctors, protesting against the recent three attacks on doctors, have been facing brickbats, raising serious concerns about the safety of doctors and medical staff working in civic- and state-run hospitals.
The doctor and the nurse at Shatabdi hospital were almost held captive for a while before the police control room was contacted and a team sent to overpower Shaikh.
The Trombay police reach the spot and take him to Shatabdi hospital in Govandi for treatment and to get his wound bandaged.
Eyewitnesses present in the casualty ward told mid-day that the minute Shaikh came out with the blade, the four policemen ran out of the room, as did the two patients there. The casualty medical officer and a nurse were left behind; Shaikh slashed at the doctor, leading to a cut on his abdomen. The doctor and the nurse managed to lock themselves in the antechamber connected to the room.
Dr Ajinath Aandhale, a resident of Navi Mumbai, has been treated for the wound and also put on anti-HIV treatment after the hospital found out about Shaikh's substance abuse history.
What's a blow, however, is that the CCTVs installed on the premises were non-functional as the hospital is undergoing repairs. So, there is no recording of the incident, which could have helped the prosecution to make a strong case against Shaikh.
As the doctor tries to put the bandage on his head, a restless and intoxicated Shaikh resists, tries to take it off.
Cops on the run
Confirming the incident, chief medical officer Dr Rajashree Jadhav said, "Our hospital is undergoing repairs, and therefore, CCTVs are not working. But we have taken this incident seriously and registered an FIR with the Govandi police against the accused."
"We are surprised that the policemen escorting the accused, instead of overpowering him and safeguarding the doctor on duty, ran away, leaving the doctor alone. I have discussed the case with senior BMC health officials and also beefed up security on the premises," Jadhav added.
He snatches a blade from the table and threatens all present, first advancing on the cops, who run away.
A senior doctor, Dr Shree Jaqtab, said, "As a precaution, we have taken blood samples of Dr Aandhale and the accused for checking HIV+ status, and have put the doctor on anti-HIV treatment."
"We are shocked with the policemen's behaviour. Had the doctor and nurse not locked themselves in the antechamber, the situation could have been worse. The accused was holding just a shaving blade, not a chopper or dragger, and yet, the policemen didn't try to overpower or stop him; they just ran," he added.
Shaikh attacks the doctor, injuring him on the abdomen.
Police take cognizance
Sub-inspector RA Bastawade, investigating officer attached to Govandi police station, said, "We have found out that Shaikh was a drug addict and that a non-cognizable case was registered against him at the Trombay police station. We are checking his background and finding out if there are any pending cases against him at any other police stations."
The doctor and nurse manage to lock themselves in a side room.
"On the basis of the complaint from the doctor, we have registered the FIR under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code along with section 4 of the Maharashtra Medical Services Act, 2010.
Shaikh tries to kick it open; control room is called for back-up.
The accused was produced before the local magistrate court, which sent him to judicial custody to Arthur Road Jail till March 24," he added.
Cops arrive and overpower him. Illustration/Ravi Jadhav
A senior IPS officer said, "We will inquire into the claims made by the hospital about the policemen running away from the casualty ward, and accordingly, call for an internal probe."