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Bihar officer suspended for issuing pass to BJP MLA who went to Kota to bring daughter




A girl plays on a deserted road during the nationwide lockdown imposed in Patna (Representational image) | ANI

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Patna: A civil servant in Bihar was suspended for issuing a travel pass to a BJP MLA who recently travelled to Kota to bring back his daughter, triggering a major controversy.

According to a notification issued by the states general administration department late Tuesday, Anu Kumar, the Sub Divisional Officer, Sadar, Nawada district was suspended with immediate effect for issuing the pass in favor of Anil Singh who represents the Hisua assembly segment.

The notification said Kumar has been found guilty of negligence in issuing the pass facilitating inter-state travel, which must not have been issued except in extraordinary circumstances during the lockdown period.

Further disciplinary action has been recommended against the SDO who shall be attached to the office of the Divisional Commissioner, Magadh Division, during the period of his suspension, the notification added.

Singh had obtained the pass on April 15 and left for the Rajasthan town a day later from where he brought back his 17-year-old daughter, a medical aspirant who the legislator claimed had sunk into depression after she was left alone with her coaching classes suspended and most of her hostel mates having left for their homes.

Opposition parties in Bihar had taken a strong exception to the development in the light of Chief Minister Nitish Kumars disapproval of various state governments arranging transport to bring back students stranded in Kota a COVID-19 hotspot that attracts medical and engineering aspirants from across the country.

The opposition had accused the government of extending the facility to a VIP belonging to the ruling coalition while speaking of commitment to the nationwide lockdown.

Singh also happens to be the chief whip, in the state assembly, of the BJP and he has been provided with a government-owned vehicle in that capacity.

The driver of the Scorpio car was also slapped with a show-cause notice on Monday for taking the vehicle out of the state without due approval of the secretariat.

However, Singh claimed that he did not use the government-owned SUV but his private Fortuner car for the journey, though he had obtained passes for both vehicles “by way of abundant caution”.

Also read: Bihar turns clock back for Covid-19 fight, seeks to replicate 1998 polio eradication drive


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




doctor with a stethoscope
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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