KOLKATA: A group of doctors attached with AMRI Hospital, Salt Lake, has lodged a complaint with the Bidhannagar police joint commissioner, alleging atrocity on part of the cops after a sub-inspector who had tested positive was allegedly denied a bed in the Covid unit of the hospital’s annexe wing on Monday.
The doctors claimed cops had allegedly clamped their cars parked outside the hospital as a vendetta, forcing some of them to return home on app cabs. They added that the hospital had no vacant beds at that point of time, a fact which can be verified from the state health department.
Multiple doctors posted the incident on the Facebook page of Bidhnangar City Police before lodging a formal complaint. The doctors on Tuesday met joint commissioner RN Banerjee and submitted their complaint. “We have been given verbal assurance that the matter will be looked into,” said oncologist Sharadwad Mukhopadhyay.
Sources said a sub-inspector of Cyber Crime Police Station in Bidhannagar was brought to AMRI on Monday and was denied admission. There was a heated exchange of words between the cops and the hospital officials, after which the sub-inspector was taken out of the hospital and was admitted at Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in New Town. His condition was stable till Tuesday, cops said. Five officers of the Cyber Crime Police Station had tested positive last week and a dozen of the department are currently in quarantine at different government facilities.
The altercation had taken place around 11am and doctors said cops clamped the cars parked in the service lane soon after the policeman was taken elsewhere. “Only the cars with AMRI logo were clamped. We believe this was done as an act of vendetta after the cop failed to get admission in the Covid wing,” said a doctor. They claimed the cops refused to let off their cars even after paying the parking violation fine.
The clamped car included that of a consultant microbiologist who is in charge of the lab that runs the 24X7 testing Covid samples. Since her work involves highly contagious swab samples, she had done away with the driver for the time being, driving the car herself. “I requested the traffic cops nearby to do something but they said they will need the OC’s order. As I was getting late for home, I got hold of the local police OC’s number and called him. But he was rude and told me it was the hospital’s issue and the hospital should solve it,” narrated the microbiologist. When no help came forward, she hired an app cab past 7pm to reach home.
“Doctors are being hailed as Covid warriors but at the same time, why hold us at ransom for no fault of ours? This is a time when cops and doctors should be working hand in hand,” said the doctor.
Bidhannagar cops, however, rubbished the claims and said all the cars were parked illegally at no-parking zones. A senior officer of Bidhannagar Commissionerate said Monday’s was a usual no-parking drive that the cops take on a regular basis. “Such drives were under check for a few weeks because of the lockdown but with more cars coming out on the road, we have resumed our drives against no parking and errant driving. The cars were clamped and prosecuted as they were parked at no-parking zones,” said a senior officer of Bidhannagar Commissionerate.
The officer rubbished the claims of personal vendetta behind the clamping and said: “Our officers hadn’t singled out anyone’s car. The cars which were parked in no-parking zones were prosecuted as per law.”
A senior officer of Bidhannagar Police’s traffic department added that the service road as well as the empty stretch of land beside AMRI hospital in Salt Lake were no-parking zones and in the past, they had prosecuted cars owned by doctors and visitors alike on a number of occasions for illegal parking.