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Punjab Police arrests 5 Nihangs & 2 other for chopping off cop’s hand during scuffle

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Chandigarh: An assistant sub-inspector’s hand was severed and two of his Punjab Police colleagues injured in Patiala district on Sunday when a group of Nihang Sikhs allegedly attacked them with swords after being asked to show curfew passes outside a wholesale vegetable market, police said.

Hours after the incident in Sanaur town around 6.15 am, police arrested seven men, including five of the attackers, from a gurdwara in nearby Balbera village.

With a lockdown in place to contain the spread of COVID-19, barricades were put up outside the market and entry restricted to those with curfew passes.

ASI Harjeet Singh was rushed to Rajindra hospital in the town from where he was referred to PGIMER in Chandigarh where he was undergoing surgery. The Station House Officer of Sadar Patiala and another official were also injured in the attack.

The horror unfolded when a group of four-five ‘Nihangs’ (a sect of Sikhism whose members are armed with traditional weapons and dressed in loose blue robes) travelling in a vehicle were asked to stop at a vegetable market by officials of the ‘mandi’ around 6.15 am, police said.

“They were asked to show (curfew) passes. But they banged the vehicle against the gate and the barricades,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, Mandeep Singh Sidhu said.

The group then attacked the police personnel on duty and fled the scene, taking shelter at a gurdwara managed by them in Balbera, officials said. Several police teams led by Sidhu were deputed to take the Nihangs out of the premises, they said, adding that the movement of people around the gurdwara was stopped.

Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta described the incident as unfortunate.

“In an unfortunate incident today morning, a group of Nihangs injured a few Police officers and a Mandi Board official at Sabzi Mandi, Patiala. ASI Harjeet Singh whose hand got cut-off has reached PGI Chandigarh,” Gupta tweeted.

“I have spoken to Director PGI who has deputed top Plastic surgeons of PGI for surgery, which just started, he added.

In another tweet, Gupta added that he was grateful to PGI for its full support. All of us praying to Waheguru for his full recovery!”

The incident took place when restrictions are in place in the state because of the coronavirus outbreak.


Also read: This is how Punjab is planning to harvest and procure wheat during lockdown


 

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India

Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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