The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday directed the CBI to probe into the high-handed behaviour of the police against Narsipatnam area hospital civil assistant surgeon Sudhakar Rao.
Further, the High Court directed the CBI to register a case against the Vishakaptanam police for physically assaulting the doctor who was suspended by the Jagan government in April after he raised voice of dissent over shortage of PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment).
The High Court also took a serious note of a magisterial probe report that found physical injuries on the doctor after he was beaten up by the police and wondered why a report submitted by the state government did not make any mention of injuries.
Earlier, the High Court directed the Visakhapatnam sessions judge to record the statement of a suspended government doctor allegedly manhandled by the police in full public view in Visakhapatnam last week.
It may be recalled that the ]senior doctor from the Narsipatnam Area Hospital was recently detained by the police for allegedly causing nuisance on a main road in Visakhapatnam. The doctor, according to the police, created nuisance in an inebriated condition. Vidoes that went viral showed a barechested Dr Sudhakar Rao lying on down on the road, the police tying his hands up even as one constable hits him with a lathi. The police later bundled the doctor into an auto. He was later shifted to King George Hospital, where doctors found him in an inebriated condition. He was subsequently referred to Government Hospital for Mental Health, where he was under treatment for acute and transient psychosis. The police booked the doctor under Sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50).
Meanwhile, Sudhakar Rao’s mother Kaveri Rao condemned the police action and said his son had no mental health issues. She hailed the High Court verdict of CBI probe into the incident and hoped that justice will prevail. “I have no faith in the AP police. The police kicked him and treated him in most inhumane manner. The way he was taken into custody by tying his hands with a rope clearly showed that he was targeted because he raised his voice against the shortage of PPEs. He faced both physical and verbal abuses since the day he raised the issue of shortage of medical equipment. I have total faith in the justice system. I hope the courts will restore the dignity and honour of my son,” Kaveri Rao said on Friday.
The video clips of police tying the doctor’s hands behind him, dragging and manhandling him triggered outrage with the opposition parties, doctors’ associations and Dalit groups condemning the police action. TDP president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu alleged that the YSRCP government treated the doctor with vengeance for criticising it over not supplying masks to the doctors. However, the YSRCP alleged that the doctor was ‘in cahoots’ with the TDP to malign the government.