Guwahati, September 2, 2019: A 73-year-old doctor was thrashed to death for allegedly delaying to treat a worker at a tea estate hospital in Assam’s Jorhat.
The management has been locked down the tea estate in Jorhat, some 300 km from Guwahati, Assam’s commercial capital, since the incident on August 31. The police said they have arrested 21 people.
The Indian Medical Association has called a strike, including withdrawal of emergency services on September 3.
Deven Dutta, 73, died of his injuries after he was thrashed some 250 workers of the tea estate because he was not present when a temporary worker died at the estate hospital.
“The garden doctor was assaulted following the death of Somra Majhi, who was being treated at the estate’s hospital,” Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni Aparanji Korati said.
Somra Majhi, the 33-year-old worker, was taken to the hospital in a critical state around noon on August 31. At the time, Dutta was not at the hospital and the pharmacist was also on leave. The nurse on duty administered saline. The worker died shortly afterwards.
When Dutta arrived at 3:30 pm, angry workers thrashed him and locked him up in a room in the hospital. The mob allegedly even cut him with glass shards. He was rescued by the police but he died on the way to hospital.
The senior most doctor in Jorhat, Dutta had retired long ago and was serving on extension at the tea estate.
Teok Tea Estate is under Amalgamated Plantations Pvt Ltd, an enterprise carved out of Tata Tea Ltd.
The West Bengal Doctors’ Forum condemned the killing. “Dr Dutta had involved himself in the service of his community even after retirement. The people he served thanked him by murdering him in front of the police,” it said in a statement.
The doctors’ forum said that the community served by Dr Dutta “did not hesitate even once while beating him to extinction.”
The forum’s statement on the incident was particularly scathing. “It took paramilitary forces to evacuate an injured man… such is the strength of the mob in India. Such is the nature of gratitude and natural justice in India. Such is the state of security for medical practitioners in India. In glorious India, the mobs remain our future patients,” it read, adding that doctors are “not appreciated in India any longer”.