A day after claiming to have arrested eye surgeon Dr Vivek Arora, who allegedly performed cataract operations on 157 villagers of which 25 later went partially blind, the police on Saturday did a U-turn saying the doctor was only taken into custody as they did not have enough evidence against him.
Batala SSP Manminder Singh told HT that the doctor was named in the FIR and was taken into custody. "As we need more evidence to frame charges against him, we are investigating the case from other angles. The doctor is cooperating with the investigating team so he was let off on a personal bond under which he has to stay at Ghuman town," he added.
He said it was a technical issue and they needed expert advice for which they had asked Gurdaspur deputy commissioner Abhinav Trikha, who had constituted a medical team under civil surgeon Dr Rajneesh Sood, who would help them.
However, the second accused and co-coordinator Manjit Joshi was produced in the court of civil judge (junior division) Nidhi Saini, who sent him into a two-day police remand.
According to information, till Saturday morning, Dr Arora was in police lock-up at Ghuman police station and was supposed to be produced in the court on Saturday, but was instead released on a personal bond.
Another police officer said more evidence was being collected against the doctor to make a watertight case against him. "He operated upon more than 150 people of which 25 lost their sight. Had he been negligent, all others would also have been affected. So we need more evidence against him to prove that he is guilty of partially blinding the villagers who attended the eye camp organised by a Mathura-based NGO at a Ghuman hospital on November 4," he claimed.
He said they had already dispatched police teams to question the staff and doctors of the NGO-SKL Netra Chakitsalya. "We are also seeking the complete record of the number of patients treated by it in the eye camp," he said.
Meanwhile, the police are shying away from taking action against the owners of Guru Nanak Multi-Specialty hospital, where these surgeries were performed under pathetic conditions. Though, secretary (health) Vini Mahajan had assured strict action against the hospital administration, the police are lax in complying with the orders.