A 42-year-old school teacher allegedly stabbed to death a 22-year-old doctor in Kerala’s Kottarakkara Taluk Hospital on Wednesday, 10 May. Four police officials have also been injured in the incident.
The accused Sandeep reportedly attacked Dr Vandana Das with a pair of surgical scissors, causing injuries to her neck, head, and spine.
According to The News Minute (TNM), Das was a final year MBBS student at Kollam Azeezia Institute of Medical Sciences & Research and was pursuing house surgency at the hospital where the incident took place.
She passed away at Thiruvananthapuram’s KIMS Hospital, where she was undergoing treatment after the incident.
A First Information Report was registered against the accused under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code. Murder charges will now be added since the victim has passed away.
Sandeep, hailing from the Kollam district, had been brought to the hospital by police officials for de-addiction therapy for drug use after he injured his legs and caused a ruckus back home. He had called the police for help after midnight. A police team had to track him down and bring him to the hospital.
A case had also been registered against Sandeep previously due to which he was suspended from his job.
A nurse told TNM that Sandeep first targeted police officials and then allegedly stabbed Das in the head and neck. He also allegedly stabbed two people who tried to save Das.
“As per eyewitness accounts, although some of the hospital staff members were locked in a room by people who were trying to help, Vandana was left out in the hall. He was eventually restrained by the ambulance driver and security staff of the hospital.”
Doctors Call For Strike
Doctors from Kerala’s Kollam district called for a strike following the incident. The Indian Medical Association has supported their protest.
“Despite promises, no action is being taken (against attacks on healthcare workers) and hence we are going on a strike. We demand that strict action be taken without any more (empty) promises.”
The medical community, along with IMA and the House Surgeons Association, took out protest marches in several Kerala districts.
This is not the first time a doctor was attacked in a Kerala hospital. A similar incident took place in a Kozhikode hospital in March too.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took to Twitter to share his condolences. He wrote, "Shocked and deeply saddened by the murder of Dr. Vandana Das at Kottarakkara Taluk Hospital in Kerala. GoK will take enhanced measures to prevent such acts & ensure healthcare professionals' safety. Heartfelt condolences to her family & friends, as we join in their grief."
Pathanapuram MLA KB Ganesh Kumar said,
“It's very sad that despite such incidents happening frequently, no action is taken after a probe. Stringent action should be taken in such cases.”
Court Slams Police, State
A division bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice Kauser Edappagath slammed the police and the state for the incident, LiveLaw reported.
"If doctors can't be protected, shut down all hospitals. You have failed this girl. This is a case where you brought a man from your custody. The police should have maintained continuous vigilance."
(With inputs from IANS and The News Minute)