The hands that heal took to arson when junior doctors at the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) went on a rampage, setting on fire some 10 vehicles, including an ambulance, in Muzaffarpur, 70 kms north of Patna on Friday.
Police had to resort to baton charge to quell the mob and bring the situation under control. At least 10 persons, including junior doctors, sustained injuries in the violent clash with locals.
What sparked the ruckus was the reported assault on junior doctors by relatives of a patient late Thursday evening. Relatives of Urmila Devi, a resident of Supaul, 250 kms north east of Patna, who was suffering from acute anaemia, reportedly manhandled junior doctors over delay in admission of the patient. Having been denied admission, Devi was taken away by her relatives who had reportedly sparred with the doctors.
To protest Thursday’s incident, junior doctors tried to force closure of the outdoor patient department and also interrupt patient care on Friday morning. Relatives of patients resisted the medicos’ move and an altercation followed. In the melee, the medicos, who came armed with hockey sticks and iron rods, roughed up a driver of a private ambulance parked on the hospital campus. It was free for all thereafter, with more outsiders joining in the ding-dong battle that followed on the hospital campus.
An ambulance driver even alleged that some medicos fired three to four rounds in the air.
The medicos also chased away police personnel who came to the hospital. The situation was brought under control only when reinforcement was sent in. Muzaffarpur district magistrate (DM) Dharmendra Singh, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vivek Kumar also reached the spot. The DM and SSP tried to talk and pacify the agitating students, but in vain.
The DM has set up a two-member inquiry committee to investigate the matter. “The guilty will not be spared,” he said.