A government doctor who was kidnapped from Jharkhand's Gumla district for Rs 50 lakh ransom on April 30 has been killed.
Choudhary is the third doctor to be murdered after the creation of Jharkhand in 2000.
The murder could further accelerate the exodus of doctors from rural areas in Jharkhand where the doctor-patient ratio is as low as 1:12,000. Since 2013 more than 400 government doctors have left government service citing poor security in extremist-affected areas.
Police recovered the body of Dr RB Choudhary (52) from Kashitoli village in Gumla, which is around 120 km north of Ranchi.
Choudhary was posted at the Gumla District Hospital as Rural Child Health officer. He was kidnapped from his private clinic.
Gumla Superintendent of Police Bhimsen Tuti said: "Two people have been arrested. We have seized the vehicle used for kidnapping". It could not be ascertained which group is behind the murder.
Chief minister Raghubar Das, who has asked the police for details of the case, said the government would provide security to doctors posted in rural places and areas affected by extremism.
After the report of murder came on Monday, more than 1,600 government doctors in 23 hospitals and 4,500 health centres went on strike protesting against the killing, and demanding security cover.
Indian Medical Association (IMA) Chairman Ajay Kumar Singh said the government didn’t pay heed to the security of doctors despite complaints of threat. He said Choudhary was a victim of state apathy.
Doctors called a meeting late on Monday evening to plan their course of action. The Jharkhand State Health Services Association during a meeting with Jharkhand Health minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi has demanded a compensation package of Rs 1 crore for Choudhary's family.
Chandravanshi said: "The Jharkhand government was in the process of formulating a compensation package".
In neighbouring Bihar, the state IMA chapter has threatened that doctors will go on strike as the state has failed to secure the release of Gaya-based Dr Pankaj Gupta and his wife Shubra who were kidnapped on May 1.