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IAS Awanish Sharan after seeing his photo with suicide news on Hindi portal

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File image of Awanish Sharan, IAS | Photo: Facebook @awanishsharan


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New Delhi: A leading Hindi digital news portal used IAS officer Awanish Sharan’s picture for a news item related to a suicide case, and did not remove it for 18 hours. Sharan is the collector of Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham district.

Patrika News Chhattisgarh Monday published the news item on its web portal about the suicide of a Bhilai Steel Plant manager and used the IAS officer’s photograph as the featured image. Sharan tweeted Monday saying the news was not even “remotely related” to him.

The portal later removed the news from its website and the social media handle. Speaking to ThePrint, Sharan said he understands that mistakes happen but he was shocked and sad to see that the news was not corrected for 18 hours. “Journalists should be careful, especially when you work for a web portal,” he said.

‘Should have been reflected in their portal also’

The 2009 batch IAS officer also said he was not given any explanation by the portal, nor did they publicly acknowledge their mistake. “The journalist personally apologised to me but it should have been reflected in their portal also.”

The incident was condemned by other civil services officers on Twitter, including senior IPS officer R.K. Vij and IG of Bilaspur Dipanshu Kabra.

Awanish Sharan hit the headlines last year after he chose to admit his daughter to a government school. He was in the list of top 10 IAS officers curated by The Better India for his initiatives including launching a tribal motorbike ambulance catering to the needs of tribals in his district.

Sharan is also leading the fight against coronavirus in his district. He donated his entire month’s salary to the chief minister’s relief fund and has a district surveillance unit and call centre for the citizens facing difficulties due to the lockdown.


Also read: ‘100 Hindus’, said to be in Chhattisgarh Tablighi isolation list, complain of social boycott


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

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A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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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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