A daughter's online campaign for justice after the alleged murder of Samalkha ayurvedic doctor Sunita Arora on Friday by an official team raiding her clinic has evoked a massive response on the social media.
Taking on the health department and its five accused senior functionaries, Ishita Arora has gone on Facebook with allegation that on September 18 (Friday), her mother was tortured to death at her maternity clinic. In the September 19 post, she claims to have evidence, including footage from a surveillance camera. She rues that no arrest was made but hasn't mentioned why the health department team attacked Dr Sunita Arora.
By Tuesday evening, more than 2.57 lakh Facebook users had shared Ishita's post, more than 24,000 commented on it, and 1.42 lakh liked it. The district police accuse the Arora family for not cooperating with the investigators. "We are verifying inputs that Dr Sunita's clinic was raided at least once about five years go for alleged violation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act," said a police officer.
State health department deputy director (Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques) Renu Malik has said the raid was based on specific input that unauthorised activities were on at the victim's Samalkha clinic. "Police and the health department officials were together in this raid on Friday night to check an alleged case of medical termination of pregnancy that ayurvedic doctors are not authorisied to do. But before the inspection could be over, the doctor died," the officer said on Tuesday.
Samalkha deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Gorakh Pal Rana said officers on the five-member raiding party had been booked but autopsy had failed to pinpoint the cause of death. "We have sent the viscera for forensic examination. Contrary to the family's allegation, there is no mention in the autopsy repot of any injury mark on the victim's body. Initially, the doctor's family did not allow the police to get a copy of the CCTV (closed-circuit television) camera footage from the facility, but parted with it on Tuesday evening following the district authority's warning that a duty magistrate would be appointed to give police access to the crime spot.
DSP Rana said that on Wednesday, the video would be handed over to forensic experts, who would also be at the clinic to scan the spot where Dr Sunita was allegedly killed. "It does seem that the victim's family is trying to hide something. Else, when we had registered a murder case on its complaint, there was no reason to hesitate to share evidence," he added.
The doctor's husband, Ved Prakash Arora, said the police were trying to shield the accused officials, and the DSP and others had watched the footage on Friday night also. "We had locked the clinic room to ensure that no one destroyed the evidence. The footage was with our lawyer. We were open to sharing details but the police had not approached us for this," he claimed.