Andhra doctor’s mother says his life is in danger

Friday, May 29th, 2020, 09:35:28 PM IST

Suspended government doctor Sudhakar Rao’s mother Kaveri Bai on Friday alleged that there is a threat to his life in Government Hospital for Mental Health and demanded that he be shifted to another hospital.

Kaveri Bai, who along with other family members called on her son at the hospital, later told reporters that he has sound health but by admitting him into a mental hospital, the government is trying to show that he has lost mental balance.

They recorded an audio statement of Sudhakar and played it before the media. Stating that wrong medicines are being prescribed for him, he said he feared for his life in the hospital.

She said the government acted with vengeance to first suspend and then ill-treat and humiliate his son for raising the issue of lack of Personal Protection Equipments (PPEs) for doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

Kaveri Bai said they had no trust in the government and demanded that Sudhakar should not be administered medicines till the High Court decides on his petition. She feels that her son’s life is in great danger.

She slammed Jagan Mohan Reddy government for branding her son a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) man for raising the issue of PPEs and suspending him.

Sudhakar had filed a petition in the High Court on Thursday, seeking direction to the government to shift him to another hospital. He also alleged that wrong medicines were being administered to him leading to serious side-effects.

He said he was forced to take antipsychotic medications despite having no illness. He sought directions to shift him to private hospital and requested that he be treated under the supervision of the high court.

The High Court on May 22 had ordered probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into Dr Sudhakar’s arrest and alleged manhandling by police in Visakhapatnam on May 16.

The court asked the CBI to probe and filed the investigation report within eight weeks and book cases against Visakhapatnam police officers who allegedly used excessive force while taking Dr Sudhakar into custody.

Earlier, on the direction of the High Court, Visakhapatnam sessions judge had personally visited the Government Hospital for Mental Health and recorded the doctor’s statement.

Sudhakar Rao, civil assistant surgeon, Area Hospital, Narsipatnam, was suspended two months ago after he publicly criticised the government for failing to provide PPEs, N95 masks to the doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He was arrested by the police in Visakhapatnam on May 16 for allegedly creating nuisance on the road at Akkayapalem.

The policemen allegedly manhandled the doctor, who was seen shirtless to the waist, dragged him and bundled him into an autorickshaw. He was 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 the Indian Penal Code 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).

Police claimed that as the doctor could have endangered his own life, he was taken into custody and since he was in an inebriated condition, he was shifted to KGH for an alcohol test.

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.