In the wake of rising incidents of attacks against healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Telangana Police have decided to book individuals attacking healthcare professionals under stringent laws. DGP M. Mahender Reddy has instructed police personnel to observe zero tolerance in such incidents and to ensure that those involved in such incidents do not go unpunished. So far, 647 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the state while 120 individuals have recovered. 18 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Telangana.
Recently, a 23-year-old COVID patient was arrested for attacking a doctor at Gandhi Hospital on April 1 following his relative's death, who was under treatment in the same isolation ward. The accused was produced before a magistrate through video link and was remanded to judicial custody but would continue to remain under treatment at the same hospital.
In another such incident, the state police arrested two men for attacking a junior doctor at Osmania General Hospital on Tuesday. They had allegedly assaulted the doctor for keeping their relative in a ward which had COVID-19 patients. The duo was also produced before a magistrate through video link and was remanded to the judicial custody.
They have been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), section 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), section 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), section 271 (Disobedience to quarantine rule) and the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 section 3 (Disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act).
The Telangana Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act 2008, which prohibits violence against health-care personnel and damage to property in medicare service institutions, has also been invoked against those found guilty. A person found guilty under this Act may be punished with three-year imprisonment and fine, which may extend to Rs 50,000. It's a non-bailable and cognizable offence.