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Senior Doctor Posted at SMHS Hospital in Srinagar 'Detained, Humiliated' by Cops in J&K, Medicos Outraged

A doctor wearing protective gear stands inside a protective chamber as he waits to collect swabs from people to test for coronavirus. (Image for representation: Reuters)

A doctor wearing protective gear stands inside a protective chamber as he waits to collect swabs from people to test for coronavirus. (Image for representation: Reuters)

Dr Syed Maqbool, a senior cardiologist, said the incident took place on Saturday when he was heading to work.

A senior doctor was allegedly detained and humiliated for a day by policemen here while he was on his way to the hospital last weekend, triggering outrage in the medical fraternity.

Dr Syed Maqbool, a senior cardiologist, said the incident took place on Saturday when he was heading to work.

"On (May) 23rd morning, I was the cardiologist on call for SMHS hospital and all associated hospitals. I was stopped by a policeman at the Hawal crossing and asked to go back. I showed him my identity card and duty roster, and pleaded that I be allowed to pass as I was already late due to the traffic jam there," the cardiologist said.

He claimed that the policeman started hurling abuses at him.

"I got off from my vehicle and wanted to speak to the officer but the policeman hit me on my stomach with the plastic cane," the doctor alleged.

Within no time, Dr Maqbool, along with his vehicle, was allegedly taken to the police station by the SHO.

"The first thing he (the SHO) did was snatch my phone," he said.

Dr Maqbool told the police officer that he had to inform his superiors about his situation as he was the doctor on call for the day.

"Since I was at the police station, I had to inform my seniors so that alternate arrangements could be made. The officer allowed me to make one call on the condition that I would not disclose that I am at Zadibal police station. He threatened to strip me and book me," the doctor alleged.

Dr Maqbool said he was released after spending a day at the police station and after signing a surety bond.

The incident has sparked outrage in the medical fraternity with Principal Government Medical College Srinagar Dr Samia Rashid calling for a swift action.

"The behavior of the police has been deplorable to say the least - we as frontline workers have been working day in and day out risking our lives and families only to be harassed. We as the administration have raised the issue with concerned authorities and hope for swift action," she tweeted.

While ordering an inquiry into the incident, SSP Srinagar Haseeb Mughal said a police complaint has been registered against the doctor for preventing a policeman from doing his duty.

"An inquiry has been ordered. A legal action has been initiated against him called 'istighasa' -- if you assault or prevent a police man from acting in the manner that he is doing his job, then a complaint is filed against him. That has been filed against him (doctor) in police station Zadibal," Mughal said.

The SSP said after he was released from the police station, the doctor took the matter to social media.

"May be in a way to defend himself only. So he also forwarded a complaint to me wherein I assured him that if you have some grievance, we will get it inquired by SP Hazratbal who is an IPS officer," he said.

The police officer said that could have closed the chapter but the doctor started making the issue political which a government servant should not have done.

"There are only two ways for a government servant -- either to look for an administrative redressal or to look for a legal redressal, a media trial is not open for a government servant. He has violated the service conduct rules," he added.