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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Officials attacked in Madhya Pradesh village over ‘vaccine hesitancy’, two arrested

According to Nagda sub-divisional magistrate Ashutosh Goswami, no vaccination has been carried out in the village despite teams visiting them on at least five different occasions over the past fortnight.

Written by Iram Siddique | Bhopal |
Updated: May 25, 2021 7:09:53 am
A worker from the administration team, identified as Shakeel Qureshi, sustained injuries on the head. Two people were arrested, police said.

A team of doctors and local administration who were on a drive in Malkhedi village of Ujjain district to urge people to take the Covid-19 vaccine were attacked by local residents on Monday morning, officials said.

A worker from the administration team was injured in the attack, which took place around 10:30 am, and two people were arrested, police said.

The worker who was injured was identified as Shakeel Qureshi. He sustained injuries on the head.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Qureshi who was undergoing treatment at the Ujjain District Hospital, said: “The tehsildar was trying to convince the villagers to come and get vaccinated when a few women began abusing her. I went ahead to talk to them when suddenly, a group of around 25 men came and one of them suddenly hit me with a lathi on my head and ran away.”

According to Naib tehsildar, Anu Jain, who was leading the team of 10 people, the decision to go to Malkhedi was taken after nobody turned up for vaccination. “The idea was to go among people and try to make them aware. But as I was talking to women, they started saying ‘Tu kuch bhi karle hum nahi lagwaenge’ and began getting aggressive. I was advised by my team to sit in the vehicle and Shakeel, who knew the villagers began reasoning with them when suddenly a group of around 30 men came with lathis and one of them attacked Shakeel on his head,” said Jain.

Jain said she then called the control room while the medical worker team escaped from the spot. The police reached the spot and arrested Chandu Lal and Maxi Mareth while one other suspect was absconding.

According to Nagda sub-divisonal magistrate (SDM), Ashutosh Goswami, no vaccination has been carried out in the village despite teams visiting them on at least five different occasions over the past fortnight.

Since there was no response from the residents, Jain was then sent to the village with her team, said Goswami.

“We were to visit the village at around 12:30 pm but before it, the team was attacked. However, we reached there and convinced four village-heads including the Patils and got them vaccinated before the entire village to ward-off the fears. After this, other youths also came forward but we are for now focusing on those above 45 years of age. Hopefully this will work as a turning point.”

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