The Assam Government on Wednesday said that it has decided to fast track the trial into the merciless lynching of Deven Dutta, a doctor at the Teok Tea Garden in Jorhat district last week.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also said that the state government has also instituted an inquiry in this matter. He said Commissioner and Finance Secretary Shyam Jagannathan had been asked to carry out the inquiry regarding the killing.
Sonowal also had a telephonic conversation with the widow of the slain doctor and assured that strict action will be initiated against those who took law in their hands.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) visited Deven Datta’s house on Wednesday and slammed the role of the Chief Minister and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for failing to come out with a statement regarding the killing of the doctor on duty.
The IMA also threatened to launch a countrywide strike soon if the government fails to charge the culprits and ensure justice to the family of the deceased. The Indian Medical Association had called a strike, including withdrawal of emergency services, on September 3. The doctors in Assam had also called for a 24-hour ‘withdrawal of medical services excluding emergency’ across the state on Tuesday in protest against the gruesome act.
On August 31, a group of agitated tea garden workers attacked and killed the doctor in the hospital over the death of a labourer. Deven Dutta was not available in the hospital when the labourer was admitted into the hospital in a critical condition. The patient had already died when the doctor reached the hospital only to face the ire of the about 300 workers, who beat him to death.
After numerous incidents of violence against doctors, the Centre proposed legislation that makes assault of medical professionals a criminal offence with imprisonment up to 10 years and fine extending up to Rs5 lakh.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has framed the Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage to Property) Bill 2019 which aims at prohibiting violence against doctors and other healthcare professionals.The draft bill says those commissioning violence or causing damage to the property of a healthcare facility can be imprisoned for six months to five years and fined between Rs 50,000 and Rs5 lakh.