Dr Arun Gadre, a Pune-based gynaecologist who visited Delhi earlier this week, was allegedly accosted by a group of men and forced to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ while he was on a morning walk in the national capital.
Gadre, 61, who came back to Pune on Tuesday, told The Indian Express that he was “shocked” when the group, comprising four to five persons, stopped him while he was on a morning walk and directed him to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
“I must have muttered the words but they again asked me to shout it loudly… ‘Jai Shri Ram’… and that’s when I walked away,” he said. The incident took place near Jantar Mantar in central Delhi early on Sunday, said Gadre.
He had made a brief stopover in Delhi on his way to Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh and was staying at the YMCA near Jantar Mantar.
The doctor said he didn’t think he was targetted for any specific reason. “I don’t think I was targetted or anything like that. Perhaps these youngsters randomly picked me up and directed me to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’. It was a quiet, peaceful morning otherwise…,” said Gadre.
“It was a shock to me as not once in all my 61 years has such an incident occurred. Regardless of one’s religion or caste, people should not be harassed in such a manner and it is crucial that the government and political parties ensure that not a single person ever faces such a situation,” he said.
He has not filed a police complaint over the incident as, said Gadre, he didn’t “suffer any grievous physical injuries”.
“Moreover, I will never be able to identify any of these men, but this incident is a lesson to all of us as a society to let everyone coexist peacefully,” he said.
Gadre said in the last two days, he has received several messages from well-wishers who have expressed their support and condemned the incident. Gadre is also the president of the Alliance of Doctors for Health Care and, inspired by Baba Amte, he has also served in the tribal areas of Maharashtra for the last 30 years.
Dr Abhijit More, health activist and coordinator of the Aam Aadmi Party’s Kothrud assembly segment, condemned the incident.
“These incidents are of concern and it is unfortunate that a doctor who works for the welfare of the masses was at the receiving end,” said More.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines