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The Dhule police Thursday claimed to have identified several people who vandalised the Dhule civil hospital and thrashed an orthopaedic doctor. Search for those identified is on and arrests are likely, officers said.
According to the Dhule police superintendent, the nine persons already arrested have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for attempt to murder and for assaulting a public servant, along with sections of the Maharashtra Medical Act. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has also instructed the police to take strict action in the case and propose ways of ensuring security of doctors.
On March 12, a mob of over 20 people vandalised Dhule Civil Hospital and assaulted Dr Rohan Mhamunkar with rods and chairs, fracturing his skull and eye bone. Mhamunkar is admitted to the ICU in Jupiter hospital in Thane.
On Tuesday, the police arrested nine persons identified through the hospital’s CCTV footage. All accused were relatives of a 25-year-old patient who succumbed to head injuries after he was referred from the Dhule government hospital to a higher centre. One of the accused, Pradeep Sadashiv Vetale, allegedly committed suicide while in police lock-up on Tuesday. He along with his relatives had started beating Mhamunkar soon after Chaitram Lashkar, the deceased, was referred for want of a neurosurgeon to another hospital.
The accused have been booked for attempt to murder (IPC 307), assault on a public servant (IPC 353 and 332) and under sections 3 and 4 of the Maharashtra Medical Act.
Earlier, while resident doctors across government hospitals in Maharashtra had announced to go on strike on Friday, the call has now been withdrawn.
Between January 2015 and December 2016, the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors recorded 47 cases of assault on doctors. The 500-bed Dhule hospital has only one armed personnel at the main gate despite several complaints by doctors to strengthen security. Three months ago, a nurse was beaten up at the Dhule hospital by relatives of a patient.