A cop offering flowers to a doctor outside LD Hospital in Srinagar following outrage over reports of harassment of doctors by policemen amid Covid-19 lockdown.(Waseem Andrabi/HT)
A cop offering flowers to a doctor outside LD Hospital in Srinagar following outrage over reports of harassment of doctors by policemen amid Covid-19 lockdown.(Waseem Andrabi/HT)

Police use charm offensive, a day after they are flayed for high-handedness while dealing with docs

By Mir Ehsan, Srinagar
PUBLISHED ON MAY 27, 2020 10:42 PM IST

A day after doctors’ protest against police high-handedness towards them, policemen in the valley mended fences with the medical fraternity members by presenting them flowers and sweets on Wednesday.

For the past couple of days, the police was facing strong criticism for heckling senior doctors at different places. However, both the parties have now decided to bury the animosity and verbal war on the social media.

On Wednesday morning, cops led by senior officers went to hospitals and offered flowers and sweets to the doctors and paramedical staff.

“May 27 should be declared as Covid Warriors’ Valentine’s Day with a pledge that all the warrior valentines express true love and respect each other or else it might sound like April Phool’s day … Let there be clear cut directions for smooth, respectful, hassle and heckling-free movement of all Covid warriors,” said doctor Ijatiba Shafi.

“After beating some doctors and stopping them from doing their duty, police is now presenting flowers to the health staff outside SMHS hospital,” said Athar Parvaz, an environmentalist.

After a senior cardiologist on his way to the hospital was beaten up by the police and detained for several hours on May 23, and Bandipore chief medical officer was stopped at a checkpoint, Kashmir inspector general of police Vijay Kumar had on Tuesday issued instructions to his officers to be respectful to the people, especially doctors who on Covid-19 duty.

“We can understand that the frontline workers are facing many problems at different levels, but judging others’ mode of duty and their shortcomings is not appropriate,” Baramulla SSP Abdul Qayoom told his officers in a message. “We all must adhere to our basic parameters within the legal and conventional framework of coexistence in the system,” he added.

He also told his officers that though they have a tough job, other departments expect a cop to behave in a way that is suitable to them, which sometimes enrages officers on the ground. “I appeal to my officers on the ground to maintain cool, have patience and perform in the larger interests of the society of which they are also a part,” he said.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, doctors and paramedical staff had held protests at various places demanding action against the erring cops. The police had already promised inquiry into the detention of senior cardiologist Syed Maqbool. Following these incidents, senior police officers directed cops to be respectful to the people especially medical staff who are performing duties in extreme conditions.

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